I finally left Bank of America (BoA), only two weeks after I was supposed to. Here’s why I did it.
- Financial: Despite the bailouts, BoA has the lowest rates: 0.10% on a CD for one year? Are you kidding me? Why not just keep my money under my bed?
- Rational: BoA dropped the $5 debit card fee after massive protests and petition campaigns but plans to release other fees beginning in 2012. No one knows what the fees are yet but Sen. Dick Durbin’s (D-Illinois) is encouraging customers to “vote with your feet. Get the heck out of that bank.”
- Political: Check your anger at the door before you make a deposit! CEO Brian Moynihan says protesting customers will not be allowed in local branches because you can’t protest and be a customer at the same time.
- Ethical: Despite blaming the economy for layoffs & its new fees, BoA continues to pay its executives pretty well. Former BoA CEO Ken Lewis’ received a $63 million retirement plan.
- Other: BoA plans to lay off 30,000 employees, double what any other U.S.-based employer has announced so far this year.
- Did you need another?: BoA received a $25 billion tax-payer bailout January 2009 but didn’t pay any taxes in 2009 or in 2010. BoA’s 2008 bailout was $15 billion.
For checking accounts there should have no minimum balance, no annual maintenance fees, free transfers to your other accounts (especially within the bank), free checks or bill pay and of course, easy and streamlined online banking. It’s a buyer’s market. If your bank doesn’t offer these you’ll find one that does. BoA, you’re dead to me.