Seeking “higher standards” from banks

Y’know…  I am all for businesses making a profit for services rendered. It’s the American way and helps sustain our way of life. Lord knows I sure don’t mind people paying a pittance to read my daily reporting on the comings and goings of Henderson-Rusk County.

However, I do have a problem when my loyalty as a customer is trivialized and or abused.

To give you some context…  several years back, just after our marriage, my new bride and I opened up a joint account at a large national bank.

Because we knew our marriage would involve much travel in addition to frequent relocations (and so it has!) our hope was to establish a business relationship with a company that had branches nationwide.

We wanted a business partner that would always have a connection to us, no matter where we ended up next.

At first, it seemed, things went quite well. We typically used direct deposit for our paychecks and went to online banking well before it caught on with the mainstream.

On the rare occasion that we somehow blundered into an overdraft situation we were always quick to sort the matter out with someone either in person or over the phone.

Being good customers of our bank was a priority, and something we anticipated would pay off in the long term.

Then things changed.

Increasingly my wife and I began to notice that the salad days were over, if they had ever truly existed. Strange and almost arbitrary fees began appearing out of the “ether” and a pall began to settle over our once-sunny partnership.

Let me also say that I put a high premium on personal relationship when my money is concerned.

I’ll go to a shade-tree mechanic I know and trust before I bring my vehicle to a national chain. If small locally-owned “mom & pop” grocery stores still existed, I’d pay a little extra to know I’m reinvesting in my community and supporting a local business.

Crazy, I know, but that’s just me.

Therefore, without disclosing personal details of my finances, let me just say a number of incidents occurred that illustrated that I am only considered a potential source of revenue to the corporation that owns the local branch I have entrusted with my money.

Meager though it may be, it’s still mine, and it was earned by honest labors.

While I cannot dent the power and influence this institution carries, I can cast my vote with my business. Thus, after more than 10 years, we will be taking our business (and our money) elsewhere.

Of course, the transition will take some time. All of our online business and most of our bills are handled through this account, so it’s going to be a gradual withdrawal. Rome wasn’t burned in a day.

But in the meantime, I’m going to be shopping for a new bank. One that, I hope, cares more about fostering a long and mutually-beneficial with my wife and me. The sort of bank that I can open up accounts for my children when they come of age…  my five children who will, in all likelihood, eventually start families of their own.

You see where this is going?

So, I want the banks of the greater Rusk County area to know they can start courting me now. That, after a bitter and increasingly loveless “marriage” I’m ready to start “seeing other people” again.

Honest and hard-working middle-class professional seeks locally-owned and operated financial institution for possible long-term relationship.

I enjoy long walks on the beach and not getting ripped off. Inquire within!


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