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Recognizing Good Banks…


Based on my current experience with Bank of America, it’s been easy to rant about bad banks – especially when articles like this surface. Unfairly, I have failed to share the good with the bad and have not adequately praised those who deserve it.

My sister and I were discussing our choices in mortgage lenders last night and were both surprised at how pleased we were with Wells Fargo (Her first mortgage and my home equity line are with Wells Fargo). And yes, we talk about stuff like that. Today’s topic at lunch? The differences between revolving and installment accounts and their impact on credit scores – oh, and the wow factor of that good looking guy from New Moon.

Wells Fargo’s service over the last three years has far exceeded my expectations. As an example, I had a concern about my account a few months ago and wanted to talk to a Wells Fargo representative. The representative, John, resolved my concern kindly and quickly then gave me his phone extension if I ever needed to call again.

I’ve heard about movements to convince consumers to pull money out of big banks and move it to small local banks. It sounds like a good idea… but I’m not planning on removing my Vice Grip clasp from Wells Fargo anytime in the near future. If I could, I’d move my first mortgage to Wells Fargo because I feel a connection with them. I feel valued. Sometimes I pick up the phone to call John to invite him to a summer BBQ before I remember John doesn’t live in California and he’d probably be a little more than creeped out that the lady with the endless questions from San Diego wants to spend time together.

Maybe you love Bank of America. Maybe you hate Wells Fargo. Maybe you hate them both and love your local credit union. It’s not about big or small banking; it’s about where you feel at home.

Banking is about feeling valued. If you don’t feel valued, it’s time to move on.


  • Reply debtmaven |

    I am a current Wells Fargo customer – I use them for all my bank accounts and I have a big whopping SBA loan and personal loan with them. As a general rule, they have been very helpful whenever I’ve talked to a banker and had questions or issues. I guess my beef with them are their regular changes to the terms of their accounts and all the fees that keep spring up mysteriously in my personal checking/savings. I think their business folks are pretty nice though.

    I think the more money you have with a bank, the better they treat you.

    Oh, and I *just* opened a credit union checking/savings account on Friday, so we’ll see how it goes with them, if they are any better than the “big” banks.

  • Reply Claire in CA, USA |

    How ironic that you should post about this today. Just got home from Wells Fargo bank, where our accounts are. Due to a very small error on my part, and very dishonest practices on theirs, I had eight overdrafts. We got most of them reversed, after pleading our case to the branch manager, but I will no longer consider them my ally in finances. They are out to fleece as many fees as they can out of us. Lesson learned.

  • Reply Another Reader |

    I have banked with Wells Fargo for almost 30 years, before and after the merger with Norwest. I have never had a serious problem with them and they have always addressed my concerns, no matter what branch I was dealing with.

    On the other hand, the horror stories I hear about Bank of America retail operations are endless. To be fair, they inherited a credit card of mine through a merger and I have not had any problems with that. However, I won’t be packing up and moving my other accounts anytime soon.

  • Reply Kamantha |

    When I was with BOA about 8 years ago, I didnt feel valued or heard for that matter. Luckily, BOA sold my mortgage loan to Countrywide and I was very happy with them. And then fate stepped in and Countrywide was bought by BOA. Yuk! As far as BOA banking is concerned, I moved to a credit union (plus ING Direct for long term savings) 2 years ago and love it. I would suggest to anyone find a credit union and join (if you can!). The only account I have with a regular bank is my mortgage…..

  • Reply NYGIRL |

    In my opinion, Bank of America has the best on line bill pay system, hands down. I know they are getting a lot of criticism lately, but I think much f it has to do with their acquisition of Countrywide. I’ve never had a problem with BofA that hasn’t been handled quickly and efficiently. I have to say I DO feel valued by them and even though they are a HUGE bank, my little branch office in CT is awesome.

    I also have a mortgage with Wells and love them, so my experience with both banks has been largely favorable.

  • Reply Deby |

    I know BofA gets a lot of flack, but thru 18 years of banking with them I have never once had an issue that wasn’t resolved quickly and courteously, and that was only twice: once I overdrew my account (due to my adding a deposit into my register twice, d’oh!), they offered to reverse the overdraft charge; and once when I had a CD with them and it didn’t close on the due date as I had requested, they immediately closed the account without any penalities when I called, no questions asked.
    And I have to second NYGIRL, I LOVE their on line bill pay.


  • Reply Lizzie |

    If you want to pay your mortgage “aggressively”, Wells Fargo is the way to go :-)!

  • Reply April B |

    I have been with BoA for over ten years, and I certainly do not feel valued. However, I am completely in love with their bill pay system! I tried switching banks and theirs didn’t even come close. So, I remain a BoA customer.

  • Reply Lindsay |

    My mother had her mortgage taken over (bought out by?) Wells Fargo. She likes them. I haven’t heard much negative with them through all of this Bank of America/SunTrust/other-crappy-bank stuff.

  • Reply seattle |

    All of my experiences with BOA have been horrible. They currently hold my mortgage after they acquired Countrywide and I hate dealing with them. I don’t feel valued and I feel that they don’t care that many Americans have lost their jobs by their success rate in the Making Homes Affordable plan. On the other hand my 2nd mortgage is through Wells Fargo and they have been excellent. They worked with us and waived off late fees because of our situation – without us even asking. Other than the mortgage, I will *never* have any type of account with them.

So, what do you think ?