Today I helped my sister close (or try to close) her bank accounts at three big banks. She had an account at Wells Fargo, Bank of America and SunTrust. She had no direct deposits and no automatic drafts, so it was pretty easy for her to move her accounts. I went with her because I had to close my last Bank of America account. Below is a story of how the banksters handled it.
One thing I should probably mention is that my sister is a very successful medical doctor. She makes a ton of money. She also had a ton of money in each of these banks. She decided to close these accounts out of solidarity with OWS protesters.
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.
We then took the deposits we had to NCSECU. The people there were busy. There were 5 people in front of us in the line to open an account. When my sister got to the front she learned that the credit union actually has a trust company and wealth management services. Neither of us knew that. She is now considering moving her Merrill Lynch (owned by BofA) accounts to the credit union as well. She's been with her financial advisor for 15 years, so that's the biggest reason she hesitates.
Anyway, please feel free to share your stories about closing your bank accounts!
The official Bank Transfer Day is tomorrow!