Banking

In 5th grade I signed up for my own savings account with Citibank, 15-16 years later I still have that same account. At some point with them I opened a checking account and got a debit card, again I still have this and love it. No problems ever.

Recently I have been looking for a new bank since there are no Citibank locations nearby (100miles) and needed a place to deposit checks. I thought this would be an easy enough thing to do. I got on google maps and the yellowpages and searched for all the nearby banks. I had the following criteria that a bank must meet:

  1. Free Checking
  2. Free Checks
  3. No ATM Fee
  4. Online Banking/BillPay Service

I thought this was simple enough, Citibank has always provided this and more for me at no cost. Little did I realise that almost all banks charge fees to take money out of someone else’s ATM. From small local banks with 10 branches to mega-corporations such as HSBC. Their fees ranged from $1.25 to $2.50.

I laughed in peoples faces when the told me I had to pay a fee that was in addition to whatever the ATM fee was. I have never paid a fee, so I was not used to this rape charge. In Europe and Asia I have never even had an ATM fee.

I finally found one bank that had no ATM fees, and even at the end of every month refunded all money charged by other ATMs. Awesome.

So I withdrew a few hundred dollars from Citibank to deposit in this new account. I then paid a $11 cable bill a week later. I then received a fairly substantial check. I created a savings account and specified that I wanted $1000 deposited in the savings account and the remainer into my checking account.

I was told that this would not be an issue, but that the money would take a few days to clear. I told them no problem. After the check was deposited I was then told that I had something pending and that my account may not cover it. I asked why, I was then told that they had transferred the money from my checking account into my savings and that the remainer of the $1000 would come from the check.

I was told that this was standard procedure, and that depending on the ‘pending’ whatever, I may not be able to cover it. Today I received a notice stating that I was charged $27 because I did not have the money in my account to cover the $11 check.

Do not get me wrong, I could not be upset if I had no money, or if the only money I had was from a check that had not cleared yet. However I had money and this bank transferred the money out, not listening to what I had told them to do with my check. Way to go, you have lost my business.

BTW the bank is Liberty Bank.