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New York Community Bank Adding Fees For Former Aurora Customers

This article was written by in Banking. 3 comments.


Last month, I received the news that Aurora Bank deposits would be assumed by New York Community Bank. Aurora Bank is yet another online bank that increased its marketing efforts leading up to a sale. For a while, Aurora Bank was a branch of Lehman Brothers, and part of that company’s bankruptcy proceedings required the bank we sold by May 2012.

With that date now here, and with New York Community Bank as the designated buyer, the acquiring bank has sent all Aurora Bank customers more information on how their accounts will be converted.

Central Park New YorkThis is bad news for Aurora Bank customers, who as a group have done well to avoid fees. Aurora Bank’s online money market account has not been completely free; if a customer’s balance were to drop below the minimum balance of $1,000 or if a customer were to leave the account dormant for three years, there would be $5 fees to contend with. These fees are easy to avoid, but New York Community Bank is raising the barriers.

Beginning June 4, 2012, as long as the bank receives regulatory approval for the acquisition (which is very likely), Aurora Bank online money market accounts will become New York Community Bank’s “My Community Gold Money Market Checking” accounts. Among the features are the following:

  • Minimum initial deposit amount: $2,500
  • Minimum balance to earn interest: $2,500 (up from $1,000 at Aurora)
  • Minimum balance to avoid monthly service charge: $2,500 (up from $1,000 at Aurora)
  • Monthly maintenance charge: $15 per cycle if balance is below $2,500 any day during the month (not an average daily balance, not a monthly ending balance)
  • Tiered interest rates ranging from 0.05% to 0.30% APY

The schedule of fees beyond the above, including the other types of accounts at New York Community Bank, is extensive. This bank may have community in its name, but its policies seem more like a large regional or national bank. The “welcome package” I received from New York Community Bank also included the funds availability policy, explaining how some funds you deposit in the form of checks might not be available until the ninth business day after the deposit. The consumer agreement and disclosure statement is 52 pages. The privacy policy is included in a short pamphlet.

I don’t really need an excuse to close one more of my dozens of online savings and money market accounts, but within five minutes of receiving and reading the letter I received with this information, I scheduled a transfer for my entire balance (just north of $1,000, Aurora’s minimum, plus earned interest) from Aurora to my linked checking account.

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Published or updated May 9, 2012. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Ceecee ♦796 (Dime)

I don’t blame you, I would’ve done the same thing. The fees are high considering that the interest rate is really lousy. Obviously they don’t want the “little” customers. I have vowed that I will go without even a checking account before I will pay exorbitant fees to let the bank use my money.

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avatar qixx ♦1,825 (Half-Dollar)

i agree, getting a package like that is reason to move on quickly.

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avatar F.G.

It is much worse ! They now change even for transferring money from and to another bank.This stupid Money HQ service from a third party costs 4.95$ a month and each transfer can cost 1.50$ up to 8.95$. This is really a rip off and I will close my accounts with NYCB as soon as my CD’s mature.

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