Not sold on benefits of local banking

Regarding Bruce Mulkey's Feb. 24 commentary in Xpress, "Just Say No to Megabanks," I have had an interesting and completely opposite experience with one local bank. … I recently closed my checking account there, and I refuse to do any more business with them.

I moved to Asheville in 1997. … I started thinking about "banking local" several years ago — before it was so cool. I've never been a fan of these mega-giant corporations that run our world.

A couple years back, when I was ready to try to buy a home, someone told me to go to [a local bank], so I did. I opened a checking account there. They did eventually do my mortgage for me, but within a week or so, they sold the loan … just like the megabanks do! (I did the first-time homebuyer thing back when things were booming. I feel certain that any of the megabanks would have done the loan, too.)

I've been lucky through the recession. My job has been busy and I have prospered. All my bills remain paid and none have been late. I am very, very grateful for this. I recently decided I would make a purchase — something I've been wanting for a long time. I had about one-third of the cash myself and I applied to take out a fairly small personal loan. After applying and my credit was pulled (score 749), I was denied. They couldn't "get the numbers to work." I went somewhere else and got the money I needed, but at a higher rate. A few days later, I went and closed my bank account and took my money elsewhere.

I'm doing my part to stimulate the economy, with no help from these local banks. In my opinion, [the local bank I used] is as much a part of the problem as any megabank. When they won't help me when I ask, what's the point of doing business with them?

What's the difference between the local guys and the mega-banks? I don't see any. You think they care about you? Don't be fooled. They only care about their bottom line. Period. FYI: I'm a liberal-minded person, and I've never voted Republican in my life. I generally can't stand corporate America. But don't for a minute think that these local guys actually care. That's a crock!

My experience with banking local has been an exercise in frustration, inconvenience and a false sense of security. [The banks I now use] may be megabanks, but I'm pretty sure that those folks working there have a local address, too — and families at home to feed. At least they don't pretend they care, and now I can get all the conveniences that they offer. I don't pay any fees for any of my accounts or online services. Anybody who does is wasting money.

— Billy Earnest
Asheville

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One thought on “Not sold on benefits of local banking

  1. Dirk Diggler

    Im none too pleased with local banks either.

    One local big bank took SIX weeks to tell me NO on a home refinance. Currently one is in week #3 with no word, except they cashed the appraisal check – is that a good sign? Ive resisted my
    own local bank due to anti American behavior by the bank President. Few people realize what he did, but its offensive to NC citizens. I am guaging the service levels of local banks VERY heavily at the moment, while I try to get away from Bank of UNAmerica who bought out my Countrywide mortgage. Growl.

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