For example, if you are a TD Banknorth customer, chances are you received a hefty package of information from them. They are merging with Commerce Bank. And, while the information tries hard to play up all the "benefits" that will come with changes to your account, I carefully looked over the things they downplayed - like all the new fees, and increases of old fees.
In other words, TD Banknorth is going to put the screws to their customers - again! And all members of our family are now in the process of closing all of our Banknorth accounts.
For example, your checking account will now be TWO accounts. If your balance exceeds any amount of THEIR choosing, they reserve the right to remove some of it from your checking account and place it into a savings account - WITHOUT EVEN NOTIFYING YOU. And they can change the amount any time of THEIR choosing. And this "creation" of a savings account can result in more fees being charged to you.
In other words, you will have no way of knowing how much money you have in your checking account, because they can move it. And, because the savings accounts now have a monthly maintenance fee of $4.00, they can make sure the savings account only has enough in it to trigger those additional fees. So, you end up with one fee for your checking, and another for the savings that you may not even want. And it is unclear how they will treat "overdrafts" when you write a check against funds they moved out of your checking account.
And that is only the beginning. There are now going to be hefty fees if your account falls below certain minimums. Correct me if I am wrong, but when you put money into a bank, and they are allowed to use that money to loan out at exhorbitant interest rates, the bank is essentially borrowing your money. But instead of paying YOU interest to borrow your money, they charge you a FEE to borrow your money. But when you go to that bank to borrow from them, they charge you interest.So, you give them money to loan out, and for that they charge YOU. Then when you want to borrow it back, they charge YOU, again.
This reminds me of the Global Warming scam that says WARM weather is caused by global warming, and COLD weather is also caused by global warming. Like the global warming nuts, the banks are placing us in a position where we simply cannot win.
I have been saying for 40 years that "banks are dangerous to your wealth." And that has never been more apparent than it is now. They take (your) taxpayer money as bailouts, then use YOUR money to put the screws to you even further. That only goes to prove that no good deed goes unpunished.
Frankly, I think it is time we sent banks a clear message - WE DO NOT NEED THEM. They pay almost nothing in interest, and for every penny they pay in interest they take back 5 cents in fees.
No more banks for me. From here on, or until banks once again discover that they need us more than we need them, I'll be keeping my own money in my own hands, and paying cash. It will save me a bundle. If enough people were to do the same - even for just 6 months - just watch how fast the banks change the way they treat us, the customers who provide the funds they need.
Right now, however, I cannot come up with a single good reason to put money into any bank, whether in savings or checking accounts. Even CD's do not pay enough interest to warrant the excessive restrictions on them. The interest banks pay on savings and checking accounts does not even keep up with inflation, so you LOSE money. And the fees they charge, I guarantee, will rob each customer of at least $100 a year.
I just thought I would pass this on. If you received such a package from TD Banknorth - or ANY bank - I strongly suggest you actually READ it, carefully, and fully understand the implications. Then, when they "remove" $100 from your checking account without your knowledge, and place it into a savings account, and since that $100 does not meet the minimum balance requirements for a savings account, they will then charge you ANOTHER $4.00 every month. And because you have fully read and understood their package, you will at least understand how and why you got robbed.