I have been very, very unhappy with large investment banks really since 2008. Their practices brought the world to the brink of disaster, and then they don't admit wrongdoing.
It's a pain to cancel accounts, but it builds up. So this most recent effort to encourage people to move money to community banks and credit unions provided the final motivation for me to move banks.
The local people working at Citi's branches are perfectly nice, but I have major problems with the bank's larger policies. I have five accounts at Citi -- my partner and I each have individual accounts, we have a joint account and a money market account. It will take two months to get everything completely changed over, with automatic withdrawals and direct deposits. It's very complicated to make a switch like this, but I'm doing it.
I went online and started looking at community banks near our house, and this one was ranked within the top 200 banks in the country and was within walking distance from my home. I went in and they were very glad to see us, and they patiently sat there with us to work out the whole move. We're now moving all our money and clearing out our Citi accounts, but we have to wait until next pay period to be able to switch direct deposit.
People say: `What difference does my action make?' But your action makes a big difference for yourself. It's painful because it takes time, but I already feel better. Maybe by ourselves we can't change anything, but we don't have to be complicit with it -- it doesn't have to be done in our name.
While other banks are busy hiking fees, these financial institutions are bucking the trend by offering free checking and other perks.
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