A few months ago, my girlfriend moved her checking and savings accounts, which where previously in separate, small, community-based banks, to Commerce Bank, a larger bank based mostly in New Jersey and New York City. I particularly like their long hours and the fact that they’re open on Sunday, and signed up for an account myself, given the branch’s proximity to my home.
When she signed up for an account, the sales representative let us know that the bank would soon be merged with TD Bank Financial Group and would become “TD Commerce Bank.” My biggest concern would be the stability of the level of service, but they assured us that nothing would change. I am hoping to see some improvements in their website technology but that may be asking too much.
The deal is done, but the branches have not yet started to change their branding and signage. That is scheduled to begin later this year. So far, I’ve seen no changes in service.
Yesterday, I received a letter from the President & CEO of Commerce Bank, and I would expect all of their customers received one as well. The letter contains self-praise for the current bank’s reputation for service as well as assurance that nothing other than the name and logo will change. The envelope also contained a pamphlet with questions and answers about the acquisition.
There are some interesting notes.
Will my accounts and services change? It’s business as usual, for now. There is no action required on your part and all your existing accounts, terms and agreements remain the same. You can continue to bank the way you do today, at any convenient Commerce location, over the phone, or online. We will keep you informed of changes that make impact you.
The last sentence is the most important point. There will be changes in the future, and at some point you may have to select a new savings or checking product in order to avoid fees. This is common in bank mergers in my experience; they want to move customers from legacy products and systems into whatever new products are available.
What is happening to the Penny Arcades in my Commerce store? Your Penny Arcades will continue to be available. We look forward to making more Penny Arcades available in the future through the new TD Commerce Bank locations.
The “Penny Arcade” is a large coin sorting machine. If you are a customer, you can bring bags of coins into your local branch, dump them into a machine which will then count your money, take a receipt to the teller, and deposit your funds or receive cash. I brought in a bag of nickels and the machine’s count was off by $0.05, and I’ve seen coins being left uncounted on a tray inside the machine before, so I don’t know if I fully trust this technology. But it is convenient.
Commerce gives treats to my kids and my dog, will you be changing this? No! We love your kids and your pets. You can continue to bank at the same locations and get the same great service you currently enjoy. This includes treats for the kids and your dog.
First, I’ve never seen anyone bring a dog into a bank branch. Is this common, outside of seeing eye dogs (who would not likely be allowed to take a treat)? Second, they love our kids?
Published or updated May 28, 2008.