The bank may fight you on this. It can’;t do much, but it can try.
First, you may be asked to speak to the manager. You do not have to stand in line.
You may be charged a fee to close the account. Leave two cents in it — your “two cents’ worth.”
The bank may change its policies. If it is charging you for some service, and another bank doesn’t, switch banks. But if it capitulates, give the bank the benefit of the doubt. Make it clear that you are doing the banker a favor.
This guy fought back.
When Ray Parente decided to pull his money out of Wells Fargo last month, he was told that he would have to discuss the decision with a personal banker at his local branch in Orange City, Fla.
Rather than wait in a long line to see the banker, Mr. Parente went to a teller window and withdrew all his money—except for two cents. “
The banks have competitors. It may pay you to find a better bank.
That leaves the banks in a difficult spot as they try to figure out how to keep customers at the same time they are raising fees to offset the cost of new regulations. Big banks are expected to make more tweaks to their checking accounts in coming months, possibly further tightening requirements customers must meet to receive free checking.
“They are absolutely struggling with this and there is great concern over their branding, market share and scale,” says Adam Schneider, who specializes in financial services at Deloitte Consulting LLP.
Beginning in late September, 650,000 customers have joined credit unions. Credit Unions are insured by the U.S. government, just like banks are.
At Wells Fargo, customers who want to close their accounts are being encouraged to explain their decision and read a flier that outlines ways in which the bank has helped communities.
“Whether you’re buying a home, paying for education, saving for retirement, investing, or growing your business, we’re here for you,” the flier reads.
A spokeswoman for the San Francisco-based Wells Fargo said, “We know that, especially right now, people want more from their bank and we’re certainly listening to them.” She added that “we respect our customers’ wishes.”
Make them compete. There are alternatives if they refuse.