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Banking

ING Direct Becoming Capital One 360

by Luke Landes

Earlier this year, Capital One’s acquisition of ING Direct was approved and finalized. Consumerism Commentary readers responded, for the most part, by stating they plan on closing their ING Direct accounts in protest. I preferred to wait and see. The conflict and attitude arises from ING Direct’s history of being consumer friendly and on the […]

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Are Consumers Really Concerned About Savings?

by Luke Landes
Savings piggy bank

A survey released by Chase today concluded that 74 percent of Americans are concerned about having enough money in savings, but only 34 percent have increased their savings since the economic downturn. There’s more to the survey, but this fact alone raises more than enough questions to consider for an entire day. What does it […]

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Banks Raise Interest Rates, Savers Give Up Hope

by Luke Landes
Savings

This week, several banks raised interest rates for diligent savers taking advantage of so-called high-yield savings accounts. American Express Bank, a cousin of a credit card company you’ve probably heard of that reorganized as a bank holding company to better position itself for government protection and balance sheet building, raised its interest rate. Ally Bank, […]

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Simple Debit Card and Mint.com Debit Card: What’s the Fuss?

by Luke Landes
Piggy bank

I suppose I don’t understand Silicon Valley hype. I do, however, understand frustrations with the traditional banking system, and one techie start-up and one former start-up engulfed by one of the largest companies in personal finance management are taking the opportunity to see if they can replace some aspects of the financial industry. SmartyPig started […]

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HSBC Direct Confuses Account Holders With Fee Notice

by Luke Landes
HSBC

Millions of HSBC Direct customers received a strange email yesterday or the day before indicating a few changes to the bank’s fee structure. (HSBC’s former name for its Online Savings Account service is HSBC Direct; the new name will be HSBC Advance.) The statement seemed to indicate HSBC would be instituting a new, high fee […]

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The Poor Are Priced Out of Checking Accounts

by Luke Landes

It’s no surprise that low income families are unbanked or underbanked. The most basic feature of a typical banking arrangement, a checking account, is getting more expensive. The research center within MoneyRates, a sister site to Consumerism Commentary, released its mid-year survey of checking account fees and found that in every major area measured, fees […]

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ING to Consider Selling ING Direct Canada and ING Direct UK

by Luke Landes
ING Direct

To satisfy European regulators, ING Group, the Dutch former parent company of popular online bank ING Direct in the United States, is “reviewing strategic options” for its other online banking divisions, ING Direct Canada and ING Direct UK. Those “strategic options” could include a sale of those branches. Earlier this year, Capital One completed its […]

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How Many Savings Accounts Do You Need?

by Luke Landes
Money

Over the past year, I’ve been simplifying my finances. I’ve collected a number of savings accounts and checking accounts, mostly as a way of auditioning and reviewing various banks for the benefit of Consumerism Commentary readers. There’s little sense in me holding onto so many accounts across dozens of banks, so I’ve been taking some […]

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Banks Could Make It Easier to Close Accounts

by Luke Landes
Dollar bill

Closing a bank account in the twenty-first century, when a good portion of your banking is handled electronically, can be a cumbersome task. I created a bank switch kit earlier this year to help consumers organize their actions and take the correct steps to move your money from one bank to another without encountering any […]

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Young Americans Likely to Be Unbanked Regardless of Income Level

by Luke Landes
Check Cashing

In discussing unbanked and underbanked American consumers, we tend to focus on low socioeconomic status communities. The mainstream opinion is that building wealth and long-term financial stability relies on the use of traditional banking and investing products and the knowledge to use these products effectively. The financial industry tends to avoid low socioeconomic status communities […]

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