After numerous revelations about the shady dealings of international banking giants like Wells Fargo, individual consumers are re-evaluating their relationships with banking. Wells Fargo had one major scandal during the past year, and a couple of minor ones. The most famous issue, of course, is the way that base-level employees were forced to create fraudulent accounts for customers, in order to meet unrealistic quotas sent down from their bosses. These unwanted accounts cost customers a lot of money in fees. What’s more, the fact that their money was moved around without their knowledge or consent is distressing for anyone who trusts large banks for keep their money absolutely secure. More recently, Wells Fargo was accused of preventing certain minorities from receiving student loans. These issues are enough to make long-time customers consider leaving.
But Wells Fargo isn’t the only large bank that’s abusing customer relations. British banks like Lloyds and Barclays are still embroiled in the PPI scandal that has dominated EU personal finance conversation for several years now. For those who are not in the know, Payment Protection Insurance was fraudulently sold to people taking out mortgage and other loans. The fine print hid the fact that the customers were paying to insure their monthly premiums. The fallout has been expensive for the banks involved, and only serves to increase consumer suspicion about scandals to come. (For more information on filing your own PPI claim, go to https://www.canaryclaims.co.uk/.)
This all begs the question: does your bank have your best interests in mind? The reality is: probably not. But is there anything you can do about it? Banks are for-profit businesses. They’re trying to make money any way they can, and particularly in the post-Trump world, they’re achieving that goal quite well.
But this doesn’t mean you still can’t get good service out of the banks, specifically because they have been caught red-handed in several recent illegal activities. If anything, now is the time to make the most of their need for customer relations improvement. If you have an account with a major bank, talk to a banker about your concerns, and see what they can do about it.
- You may be able to have all banking fees waived, especially the ones overdrafts and similar penalties. If you pay a yearly fee for your savings account, or other similar penalty, this is the time to have those removed.
- Because of customer info leaks, several banks have been willing to give their customers free fraud protection, sometimes for years at a time. If you haven’t received this, talk to a representative about the ways they can improve your accounts’ security in order to keep your business.
- If you need a loan, this is the time to get the terms you desire. Especially if you are a long-time account holder, leverage your dissatisfaction with the state of modern banking to get the loan of your dreams in exchange for your continued support.
Today’s banks have messed up in conspicuous ways. They may not be looking out for your best interests, but if you can represent yourself in this way, you may be able to get some great perks from your bank in this troubled time.