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Banking

Federal Reserve Approves Capital One’s Acquisition of ING Direct

by Luke Landes
ING Direct

After several delays, the Federal Reserve Board has approved Capital One’s request to purchase ING Direct and ShareBuilder. This deal has been in the works for a while. When ING Direct’s parent company was bailed out, the Dutch government gave the condition that it must divest its business in the United States. Several buyers courted ... Continue reading this article…

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Bank Switch Kit and Checklist

by Luke Landes
Broken piggy bank

With Wells Fargo changing their policies to be less consumer-oriented this week, I’ve received several questions about the logistics switching banks. In previous decades, closing your account at one bank and opening an account at another was a simple process. All that was required was to walk into one branch, ask to close your account, ... Continue reading this article…

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Bank of America Class Action Lawsuits – Did You Receive a Check?

by Luke Landes

Many Consumerism Commentary readers have written in to let me know that they recently received a check for about $98 from Bank of America. If you received this check prior to November 2012, this check is not a result of the Bank of America overdraft fee class action lawsuit, but it is the result of ... Continue reading this article…

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Binding Arbitration: Wells Fargo Taking Away Customers’ Rights

by Luke Landes
Wells Fargo

February 14, 2012 update: The change in terms described here goes into effect tomorrow. It’s not too late to switch banks. If you enter into an agreement with a company, and that company does something to wrong you, most of the time you can avail yourself of the American judicial system to correct the problem. ... Continue reading this article…

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Wal-Mart Offering Check Cashing Services

by Luke Landes
Wal-Mart

Many Wal-Mart locations around the country now have Money Center departments. These developments create an incredibly convenient way to take your paycheck into the store, have it cashed at the Money Center, and use your cash for your shopping trip. With Wal-Mart’s trend to become a one-stop shop for all household needs, including groceries, each ... Continue reading this article…

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Credit Unions Successfully Woo 650,000 New Customers

by Luke Landes

Bank of America has given into the pressure of losing more than just a few unprofitable customers, canceling its planned $5 monthly debit card fee. The damage, not just to Bank of America but to retail banking overall, has already been done. The Credit Union National Association has counted, state by state, a total of ... Continue reading this article…

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HSBC Banking Network Down

by Luke Landes

Reports are coming in with many HSBC customers around the world experiencing declined card transactions, no website access, and no phone system. HSBC’s network in the UK is apparently unavailable at the moment, and other areas may be affected throughout the world. HSBC is the largest bank in the United Kingdom, and all HSBC card ... Continue reading this article…

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We Did It: Bank of America Dropping $5 Debit Card Fee Proposal

by Luke Landes

After Wells Fargo, Chase Bank, SunTrust Bank, and Regions Bank dropped their plans for debit card fees yesterday, the largest bank in the United States, the only bank holding onto its policy of eliminating unprofitable customers by annoying them with inconvenient fees, dropped their own plans to enact a $5 monthly debit card fee in ... Continue reading this article…

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More Banks Drop Debit Card Fees

by Luke Landes
Chase Bank

Consumer outrage and backlash does work, apparently. Wells Fargo Bank and Chase Bank have been testing debit card fees in a small number of locations within the United States, but due to the anger unleashed after the largest bank, Bank of America, announced it would add a $5 debit card fee in 2012, the two ... Continue reading this article…

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EverBank Checking Account Offering $60 Cash Limited Time Bonus

by Luke Landes

As I’ve pointed out recently, banking customers have grown accustomed to the concept of free checking. Thanks to profits in the banking industry from a variety of sources, banks could justify offering checking account services, including debit cards, without charging any fees. The industry has changed over the past year, and many banks, particularly large ... Continue reading this article…

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Banks Offering Remote Deposit

by Luke Landes

Almost ten years ago, the government passed a law that made electronic images of paper checks just as legitimate as the paper checks themselves. As banks implemented the law, it saved time and money by allowing banks of first deposit to scan checks after a customers deposit them for verification with the originating bank. With ... Continue reading this article…

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Wells Fargo Sent Statements to Wrong Customers

by Luke Landes

The fourth largest bank in the United States by assets, Wells Fargo, admitted last week that many of its customers received statements with other customers’ banking information included. In this security breach, those affected might have received a statement with a stranger’s account number, transaction detail, and in some cases, Social Security number. Other affected ... Continue reading this article…

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Bank Transfer Day

by Luke Landes

Kristen Christian has declared November 5, 2011 to be Bank Transfer Day. Fed up with the big banks’ claims that regulation would make the institutions unprofitable, and with research to back that up, Kristen started a movement on Facebook to encourage more people to withdraw money from large banks and use these funds to open ... Continue reading this article…

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The Best Online Checking Accounts, August 2014

by Luke Landes

As consumers grow increasingly frustrated by the checking account options offered by traditional banks, more are seeking out the best online checking accounts for better interest rates and service. Large banks like Wells Fargo and Bank of America are continuing to add fees, such as debit card fees, and are not concerned with scaring the ... Continue reading this article…

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Citibank to Charge $20 a Month for Checking Account

by Luke Landes
Citi Checking Account Piggy Bank

For the last few years, savers have been punished by banks offering low interest rates. If that weren’t enough, banks now want depositors to pay for the privilege of putting money in a bank. In the world until recently, banks sought depositors because they used the public’s money to increase lending to borrowers who were ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Close Your Bank of America Savings or Checking Account

by Luke Landes
Bank of America

If you’re upset about Bank of America charging a monthly debit card fee or any other fee, if the bank has a policy you don’t like, or if you just have no need for this company’s particular set of services, consider closing your Bank of America account. There’s an initiative called Bank Transfer Day encouraging ... Continue reading this article…

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Bank of America Charging $5 Debit Card Monthly Fee

by Luke Landes

Last month, I noted that Wells Fargo was to begin testing a $3 debit card monthly fee in some areas of the country. Since the recession, banks are looking for more ways to generate profits from depositors. Historically, banks turned deposits around and approved loans for borrowers at higher interest rates than what was paid ... Continue reading this article…

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Current and Historical Checking and Savings Account Rates

by Luke Landes

Since many banks are constantly updating their interest rates offered on savings, money market and checking accounts, this chart should come in handy. On the 1st and 15th of every month, this page is updated to show the most accurate rate information available. This list is organized in two sections. The first section includes FDIC-insured ... Continue reading this article…

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Money Magazine’s Best Banks 2011

by Luke Landes

In early October, I will announce the winners of the Second Annual Plutus Awards, which will include the best bank, best credit card, best brokerage, and a number of other categories. Later today, the Plutus Awards website will list the finalists. Money Magazine has already completed its survey and announced the publication’s editor’s picks for ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Tips for Avoiding Overdraft Fees

by Luke Landes
Nickel and Dime

Bank of America is settling the overdraft fee class-action lawsuit that alleges the bank knowingly manipulated customers’ deposits and withdrawals in order to maximize the fees they would receive. Although the banks aren’t completely to blame for the proliferation of overdraft fees, policies were so much of a problem that the government and regulators needed ... Continue reading this article…

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