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Is it me or is the US banking system archaic?

Is it me or is the US banking system archaic?

Old Dec 16th 2003, 8:06 pm
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Default Is it me or is the US banking system archaic?

- Debit cards - great idea, but get hit for 25c every time I use it. Writing checks is a pain but why charge us for a service that UK banks have been offering customers for free for yonks?

- Online banking - the same, pay a fee for a service that pales in comparison to Lloyds TSB Online (even if you do have to remember what your last meal but five was in order to retrieve your password)

- Check books - again, cost to customer, pray tell why I have to pay to be able to pay my bills. And it costs $30 to cancel the buggers.

- Transferring money - days and days and days, say no more.

- Qualifying for a bank credit card - among fellow Brits, do I really need to go there?

Is it just me?
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Old Dec 16th 2003, 8:20 pm
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Default Re: Is it me or is the US banking system archaic?

Originally posted by PrincessofWales
- Debit cards - great idea, but get hit for 25c every time I use it. Writing checks is a pain but why charge us for a service that UK banks have been offering customers for free for yonks?

- Online banking - the same, pay a fee for a service that pales in comparison to Lloyds TSB Online (even if you do have to remember what your last meal but five was in order to retrieve your password)

- Check books - again, cost to customer, pray tell why I have to pay to be able to pay my bills. And it costs $30 to cancel the buggers.

- Transferring money - days and days and days, say no more.

- Qualifying for a bank credit card - among fellow Brits, do I really need to go there?

Is it just me?
It's not just you, but I think you need a different bank. I think you'll always have to pay for checks, but at Citibank where I am, for example, online banking and the debit card are free. International transfers are 3 business days.
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Old Dec 16th 2003, 8:20 pm
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Default Re: Is it me or is the US banking system archaic?

I have yet to face these fears. So far I'm up against the Patriot Act and not being able to actually open an account as a foreigner until I get my SSN.

Spanish banking sucks big time too.
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Old Dec 16th 2003, 8:22 pm
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What bank is this?

I'm with Wells Fargo and I dont get charged for online banking or using the ATM. I do agree with the check complaint. Paying for checks is a little weird when they have always been free.
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Old Dec 16th 2003, 8:42 pm
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Default Re: Is it me or is the US banking system archaic?

Originally posted by PrincessofWales
- Debit cards - great idea, but get hit for 25c every time I use it. Writing checks is a pain but why charge us for a service that UK banks have been offering customers for free for yonks?

- Online banking - the same, pay a fee for a service that pales in comparison to Lloyds TSB Online (even if you do have to remember what your last meal but five was in order to retrieve your password)

- Check books - again, cost to customer, pray tell why I have to pay to be able to pay my bills. And it costs $30 to cancel the buggers.

- Transferring money - days and days and days, say no more.

- Qualifying for a bank credit card - among fellow Brits, do I really need to go there?

Is it just me?

In general, I agree with your comments but one major difference between the US and the UK is the sheer size of the country and the number of banking customers.

There are very few or maybe even no nationwide banks in the US. It's either region or state based.


I think it's also a perception of customer service. American consumers "put up" with having to pay for checks, debit transactions (I don't personally), service fees for online banking. They implicitly accept being treated like this.

However, who remembers the brouhaha that arose when the banks wanted to implement a fee when customers used their debit cards to withdraw from an institution other than their own? That fee raised a lot of protest and it never materialised.


I wholly agree with the issues about getting a credit card in one's name. However, it's probably the same for foreigners doing the same in the UK. I am miffed at how Canadians (but probably not Mexicans) get preferential treatment when applying for credit. i.e. US institutions/businesses do take a Canadian credit history into account.

I also want to add that I think the layout of the info on my bank's statements is absolute crap. Any statement from any institution I saw in the UK was far easier to read and better laid out.




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Old Dec 16th 2003, 9:33 pm
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I'm with Bank One.

I was paying $10 a month checking account fee.....but soon stopped that.

I have free On line banking and its excellent, but to do direct debit though it, its $4.95 a month.

I pay for Checks (cheques) $6 for 50 bog standard type, no flashy shite winnie the pooh ones for me.

To cancel a check its $28.00 and if I go .50 cent overdrawn its another $28.00.

Free ATM as long as its BANK ONE (duh!) but it can cost upto $3.00 if i use the ATM at Target. (only done this once, quick lesson to learn).

The only reason I stuck with Bank One is because there just around the corner and if I had any problems its always delt with swiftly, unlike Bank of miserable bastard America who will never have my custom again.
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Old Dec 16th 2003, 10:57 pm
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Default Re: Is it me or is the US banking system archaic?

Originally posted by PrincessofWales
- Debit cards - great idea, but get hit for 25c every time I use it. Writing checks is a pain but why charge us for a service that UK banks have been offering customers for free for yonks?

- Online banking - the same, pay a fee for a service that pales in comparison to Lloyds TSB Online (even if you do have to remember what your last meal but five was in order to retrieve your password)

- Check books - again, cost to customer, pray tell why I have to pay to be able to pay my bills. And it costs $30 to cancel the buggers.

- Transferring money - days and days and days, say no more.

- Qualifying for a bank credit card - among fellow Brits, do I really need to go there?

Is it just me?

dunno if the system is archaic but it's definitely a rip off. Bank Charges used to drive me nuts for our first few years here...believe it or not, things have improved the last five years- with more banks offering more deals- like free banking for over 50's etc. We are with Wachovia now and don't pay any charges at all, even online banking is free because hubby's company uses Wachovia- so employees get all free....except for buying cheques that is, still have to pay for those. I rarely write cheques these days though- with online banking and debit card, so that has cut the cost. It was bloody ridiculous 12 years ago- the charges for cheques alone then were crazy...you had to buy the cheques and pay for every bloody one that was cashed!
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Old Dec 16th 2003, 11:19 pm
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Hate to go against the flow, but I've had the opposite experience. I banked with SunTrust in TN and now bank with a credit union in NC. Both were excellent, people bent over backwards to help, charges minimal. I think that credit unions are a good option if you are eligible to join (the one I'm a member of here is for NC state employees, for example). They're a bit like the old co-op in the UK. $1 a month charges, free wires (except overseas), minimal charge for checks, free online banking.

In the UK, on the other hand, I found that some of the simplest requests were dealt with as if I was asking for the earth instead of a loan, for example. I asked Barclays to write me a simple, brief letter stating I'd been a customer for 30 years, and they wanted to charge me $20 - SunTrust did the same thing free of charge.

I think SunTrust and Wachovia both got high ratings from Consumer Reports for customer service and low charges.
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Old Dec 17th 2003, 12:04 am
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I'm with BoA. I get ripped off for new checks, but don't use those much anyway. Debit cards are free, the online banking system is not bad, money transfers are pretty painless.
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Old Dec 17th 2003, 1:52 am
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Default Re: Is it me or is the US banking system archaic?

Originally posted by sibsie
..... So far I'm up against the Patriot Act and not being able to actually open an account as a foreigner until I get my SSN. ....
That isn't actually true. There is no legal prohibition on non-SSN holders opening bank accounts either in the USA Patriot Act, or anywhere else for that matter, .... however some, maybe even many, banks have decided to enforce a no-SSN, no bank account policy.

Try a smaller community bank, where you can ask to speak to somebody woth real authority if you have problems with the counter clerks, and be sure to have other ID with you - passport, birth certificate, immigration correspondence, etc.
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Old Dec 17th 2003, 2:08 am
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Originally posted by Pimpbot
What bank is this?

I'm with Wells Fargo and I dont get charged for online banking or using the ATM. I do agree with the check complaint. Paying for checks is a little weird when they have always been free.
I'm also at Wells Fargo, but I get free checks. I think it depends on the type of account you have. I also have a money market account at the bank.
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Old Dec 17th 2003, 3:19 am
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Firstly, welcome to America where nothing is free. Bank charges are like everything - part of the price you pay for living here. Banks are run much more like businesses in the USA where everyone pays for the running of the bank. In the UK it is big business who pays and the little people are left unscathed.

I pay the same for my business checks as I do my regular checks. As long as my accounts are in credit I don't pay monthly fees.

I went hunting for a car the other day and I was told my beacon score by the dealer - 601. They assumed (because of my age) it was because of bad credit but really it is because I have only lived here 9 months. Personally I was chuffed to bits with 601 after only 9 months and it proves that I have been doing the right things to build my credit slowly but surely.

Patrick

PS Doesn't it piss you off (in this day and age) when the person in front of you at the supermarket writes a check!
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Old Dec 17th 2003, 4:12 am
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Default Re: Is it me or is the US banking system archaic?

I think if you remember that bank here are still in 1973 you understand them better..
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Old Dec 17th 2003, 4:34 am
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Originally posted by Patrick
Firstly, welcome to America where nothing is free. Bank charges are like everything - part of the price you pay for living here. Banks are run much more like businesses in the USA where everyone pays for the running of the bank. In the UK it is big business who pays and the little people are left unscathed.

I pay the same for my business checks as I do my regular checks. As long as my accounts are in credit I don't pay monthly fees.

I went hunting for a car the other day and I was told my beacon score by the dealer - 601. They assumed (because of my age) it was because of bad credit but really it is because I have only lived here 9 months. Personally I was chuffed to bits with 601 after only 9 months and it proves that I have been doing the right things to build my credit slowly but surely.

Patrick

PS Doesn't it piss you off (in this day and age) when the person in front of you at the supermarket writes a check!

YES it pees me off. In fact I'm really fed up with paper bills coming in too- I want a paperless house as well as office.

Patrick- your credit score may well be higher than that quoted by the car dealer - NEVER get your credit score from them, or financing if you can help it. This is rip off country too. Car dealers often tell you that your score is lower than it really is to get a higher APR out of you- they have numerous other 'finance' scams too. Always try and get financing before you look for a car and at the very least get a copy of your credit report and score from Experian before you set foot in a car showroom. You should always know your credit score before trying to buy anything actually.
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Old Dec 17th 2003, 7:29 am
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We have a bank account at a credit union in the States. We don't pay debit card fees, thankfully since the credit union is in Southern California and we won't be living there. I've had that account for years and never had a problem with it. Just glad that I kept it open when I moved to the UK.
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