I would love to participate in the Bank Transfer Day on November 5; but long ago, I moved my money out of a big bank and put it into a credit union.
It happened back in 1989. I had just returned to full-time work after staying at home with my two small boys. While at home, I worked part-time at a temp agency. They sent me back to work on a full-time assignment at city agency, who offered me a permanent job. At the time, I did my banking at Manufacturers Hanover, good ol’ Manny Hanny, the same bank where the temp agency did their business.
I went to the downtown branch to cash my final paycheck from the temp agency, and was told that I could not cash it because the account for the temp agency was at the midtown branch. I was stunned. I needed to cash that check; I had to feed that Pamper monster, and have carfare to start my new job. What are my options? I asked. Well, I could cash the check, but the money in my account would be held until the check cleared, which could take up to fourteen days.
I thought about this. The big banks had just begun to charge low balance fees and check writing fees, and lower the interest rate on savings accounts to single digits. Now they wanted to hold my money for a check that was written on another Manny Hanny account?! Simply because the check was from an account at another branch?! What happened to all this so-called ‘saving money’ and efficiency from the ATMs and other electronic communications? I didn’t see any benefits. I couldn’t qualify for a loan from Manny Hanny; just the thought of applying for a loan or a credit card was laughable. And questions were being raised about their commitment to the community in terms of mortages and small business loans.
At that moment, my decision was made for me. I smiled and said to the teller, “Please close my account.” I took my money and walked over to Municipal Credit Union. It’s been there ever since.