Yes, The Big Banks DO Care If We Move Our Money
650,000 customers moved $4.5 billion dollars out of the big banks and into smaller banks and credit unions in the last month.
But there is a myth making the rounds that the big banks don’t really care if we move our money. For example, one line of reasoning is that no matter how many people move their money, the Fed and Treasury will just bail out the giants again.
But many anecdotes show that the too big to fails do, in fact, care.
Initially, of course, if the big banks really didn’t care, they wouldn’t have prevented protesters from closing their accounts.
NBC notes that – in response to inquiries regarding how many people have moved their money – Bank of America refused to provide figures, and instead sent the following defensive email:
“Bank of America continues to be a great place for customers to manage their everyday finances and achieve their savings goals,” [Colleen Haggerty, a spokeswoman for Bank of America's Southern California operations] said in an email. “We offer customers more choice and convenience, including industry-leading fraud protection, access to thousands of banking centers and ATMs, and the best online and mobile banking, which allow customers to bank on their terms 24/7.”
A writer noted at Daily Kos:
At Wells Fargo, my sister walked up to the teller and politely asked to close her account. The teller said, “No problem.” She pulled up her account and saw the balance and told her that due to the amount she had to speak with the branch manager. The branch manager came out. He was probably 30 years old and was very arrogant. He asked my sister why she wanted to close her account and my sister told him she thought Wells Fargo was part of the problem with the economy. He went thru some talking points about why she shouldn’t move her money, but my sister didn’t back down. When he asked her where she was going she told him that she would be banking at the North Carolina State Employees Credit Union. She isn’t a state employee, but anyone can join if you are related to a state employee. It turns out her husband is. Anyway, the bankster told her “You’ll be back. Credit unions can’t provide the services you need.” We’ll see about that. She withdrew over $200k from Wells Fargo.
Next we went to Bank of America. I closed my last account with hardly any questions asked. Of course, I had taken most of my money out so there wasn’t much left to take. My sister on the other hand had a large balance in multiple accounts. They actually refused to cut her a check for the full amounts. They only gave her 1/3 of her money and told her she’d have to come back to withdraw the rest. They claimed they were only allowed to make checks for a certain amount, and that they had no authority to cut additional checks on the same day. Stupid BofA. She had her check in hand and politely told off the branch manager when he told her she had to come back another day or two to withdraw the rest.
At BofA, we weren’t the only ones closing accounts. There was a line of people. Most had small accounts because they weren’t even being challenged, but she actually had to wait in line to speak with a branch manager.
At SunTrust, the branch manager went off his rocker. He just kept asking her “is there anything I can do or anything I can say to change your mind?” He asked probably twenty times. He even offered to have the market executive meet with her and hear out her concerns. She told him she wasn’t interested. He really looked nervous about it.