The end of old-fashioned useful banking

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.


Something has happened to big banks along the way, where they no longer actually provide banking services to their customers. When I walk into a Wells Fargo branch now and sit down with a “banker” to take care of my accounts, it consists of sitting next to them while they call 1-800-WELLSFARGO for me and talk to a call center. There simply is no service anymore. I walked into my local branch to open up an IRA last week before the tax deadline, and they literally couldn’t even do it for me in time because the person on the phone said “we’ll do our best effort, no guarantee.” I walked up to the teller, asked for a cashier check for the full amount in my accounts, and opened up an account next door at a small local bank (First Republic). They were able to sit down with me and immediately pull up all the paperwork to create and fund an IRA account with no hassle at all right there, no phone call involved. It was like night and day.

These huge banks have simply become way too big, and it serves no one’s interest but their own. They have zero incentive to provide actual customer service anymore. There needs to be a massive restructuring of our system to allow smaller banks to thrive and provide actual competition.

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