All Articles Tagged "banks"

Most People Don’t Like Banks, But There’s One That’s Winning The Popularity Contest

July 10th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
Share to Twitter Email This
Shutterstock

Shutterstock

When we think of popular banks, we think of Bank of America, Citibank, maybe your local regional bank based on where you live. Whether you like that bank or not is a different story.

The Motley Fool (via USA Today) looks at the results of various analyses from Forrester Research, American Banker and Reputation Institute Survey of Bank Reputations (??) and other measuring companies and found for the fifth year in a row USAA tops the list, not just for banking services but for home and auto insurance.  The reason for the bank’s high ranking might be attributed in large part to this belief, expressed by the bank’s CEO, “USAA is a community of people who share and live military-inspired values such as service, loyalty, honesty and integrity, so we begin with a common foundation.”

Trust and reputation are a big factor for banks right now in the wake of the financial meltdown in 2008 and the hardship it has caused for millions of people both here and abroad. Much of the blame is laid on the doorsteps of the world’s largest banks. Many people are still angry that they’ve gotten help from the government and that few of the people responsible have faced criminal charges.

Banks like Bank of of America and SunTrust have seen the loyalty and overall satisfaction of their customers go up, but nothing like what the stats show for USAA. And when you continue to hear stories about lawsuits against banks and the high pay that these bank executives get even while many people still struggle, it’s hard to feel any sense of loyalty.

USAA and its banking services are available to military families however. So the rest of us are left to find other financial service providers. Some customers looking for an alternative might want to turn to a credit union. They charge lower fees and offer better rates than many banks. But people don’t know a lot about them. Bankrate.com corrects six misconceptions about credit unions here.

The worst option is to not have a bank account of any kind at all, which is the state of affairs for eight percent of Americans (about 10 million people). And, according to the FDIC, another 20 million are “underbanked.” In many cases, people say they don’t have enough money to open an account. Instead, these people are relying on things like checks cashed businesses, prepaid cards and payday loans to manage their money.

The biggest issues with these alternatives are fees — payday loans can cost many times more the value of the loan to repay — and the separate set of regulations they must follow.

“There’s a good reason that these services are regulated differently than banks: They don’t involve the basic business of banking, which is taking customer deposits in order to make loans. But that means consumers using alternative financial services have fewer protections, at least until the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finishes drafting new rules,” writes Boston.com.

Are you a fan of your bank? Tell us about it in the comments. If you’ve found a good financial service provider, we all want to know about it.

MN Business Tip Of The Day: Is It Time To Ditch Your Bank?

March 6th, 2014 - By Michelle Alerte
Share to Twitter Email This
Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Have you ever asked yourself if you are satisfied with your bank’s service? If you take a closer look, you may become increasingly dissatisfied with the fees, hidden penalties, or lousy interest rates you’re dealing with. Frequently, however, people don’t know where else to go. The solution may be as close as your nearest credit union. Take a look at these three important distinctions that define a credit union and its services:

Credit Unions Are Member Owned. Being member owned means having an account at a credit union makes you a part owner in the enterprise. Unlike a bank, therefore, you’re more likely to be treated as a person rather than as simply a number and a nuisance.

Credit Unions Are Not-For-Profit. Their nonprofit status helps explain why interest rates at credit unions are significantly better than at banks. Additionally, fees are fewer and smaller than what is found at banks. Profits that credit unions make are distributed as dividends to their members. In contrast, you find banks that are continuously inventing new fees and policies to boost profits.

Credit Unions Are Thriving In Spite of Bank Efforts. Almost since their inception, banks have been working to legislate credit unions out of existence, or at least limit who can join. Clearly, banks have failed in their efforts. Virtually anyone in the U.S. can belong to a credit union, based on where they live, work, or the associations they belong to.

Credit unions count nearly 90 million Americans as members and save those members thousands in lower interest rates and reduced fees. For example, credit unions issue credit cards that tend to forego annual fees or charge punitive interest rates for a single late payment. Additionally, most credit unions offer free checking accounts and penalties for overdrawing tend to be lower. You may indeed be satisfied with your bank, but isn’t it time you asked yourself and found out?

Congressional Black Caucus Invests In D.C.’s Last Black-Owned Bank $1M

October 10th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
Share to Twitter Email This
CBC Chair, Rep. Marcia Fudge (OH-11). via Facebook

CBC Chair, Rep. Marcia Fudge (OH-11). via Facebook

The number and impact of black-owned banks is dwindling across the country. In 1994, there were 54 African-American-owned banks; currently there are 21, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. So when the last remaining African-American-owned bank in the Washington DC area received $1 million from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, it was a major boost.

The CBCF purchased $1 million worth of certificates of deposit from Industrial Bank as part of a new initiative to help make loans more readily available to underbanked communities and minority owned business, reports The Washington Post.

“Minority and women-owned banks have been an important source of credit and other financial services to minority communities,” A. Shuanise Washington, president and chief executive of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, told the newspaper.

Black banks have been struggling over the years, especially during the recession. Many of these institutions have less than $100 million in assets.

“The crisis had a devastating effect on the economy of the country, but it had even more of an impact on the minority community,” said Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.), the chairman of the foundation.

The CBCF investment, which is one of  the most substantial given to African-American banks in recent years, reflects a renewed interest among national organizations that are looking to invest in minority-based businesses, noted William Michael Cunningham, who helps area businesses find socially responsible ways to invest their money.“Certainly there is a growing trend here,” Cunningham said. “It is yet another example of how communities are finding resources for dedicated causes, in this case African-American banks.”

As we previously reported, the CBCF gave total of five African-American-owned banks received $1 million each. The other banks were Seaway Bank and Trust in Chicago, Liberty Bank and Trust in New Orleans, City National Bank in Newark and M&F Bancorp in Durham.

Already, 80 percent of the funds have been dispersed. The remaining $1 million will be distributed among the five banks in the first quarter of 2014, Washington explained.

This is the first time the foundation has invested in African-American-owned banks; the organization usually focuses its efforts on advancing the role of African Americans in politics and public policy.

“Given financial needs in the black community, a community that experienced a 54 percent decline in wealth as a result of the great recession, this focus is entirely justified,” Cunningham said.

Founded in Washington in 1934, Industrial Bank has $350 million in assets with  eight branches — six in the District, and two in Prince George’s County.

“These deposits provide the liquidity for Industrial Bank and others to make loans in the hardest-hit communities across the nation,” B. Doyle Mitchell Jr., president and chief executive of Industrial Bank, said in a statement.

We ‘Bout To Throw Them Boooows: Celebs Involved In Club Brawls

August 23rd, 2013 - By Iva Anthony
Share to Twitter Email This

Usually a night out at the club is filled with bottle popping and dancing but for these 15 celebs their night out on the town included fists and bottles flying. Check out this list of celebs involved in club brawls.

Celebs Involved In Club Brawls

WENN

Shia LaBeouf

Shia LaBeouf is no stranger to a good bar brawl. The Transformers star was on location in Vancouver, Canada back in 2011 when he went out to a bar to blow off some steam. While reports were unclear of what the beef was initially about, LaBeouf and another man were kicked out of the Cinema House Bar by security for fighting. Picking up where they left off, the fight continued on the sidewalk where cameras caught a bloody LaBeouf getting pummeled. The following year, LaBeouf found himself in another bar brawl, this time in London after a college student stole his baseball cap.

Check Out the Best Checking Account Promotions Before They Expire

July 19th, 2013 - By Kimberly Gedeon
Share to Twitter Email This

 

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

The checking account is the most popular banking product with 90 percent of Americans having one. It would be in your best interest to know which bank offers the most beneficial incentives for your finances. Check out the banks are servicing the best checking account promotions today, according to GoBankingRates.com.

Chase Bank, the largest bank in the United States, comes in at No. 1 with the most alluring checking account promotion: they are offering customers $200. with a deposit of only $100 within the first 10 days of activating the account.  You can setup your direct deposit for the account within the first two months of activation. This offer ends in a month, so be sure to take advantage of this promotion before August 15 rolls around.

PNC drops in as the second-best with its Virtual Wallet Deal offer. Customers will receive a $150 bonus when they activate a Performance or Performance Select Checking Account, make a qualifying direct deposit, and make at least one payment via PNC’s online bill pay. This offer ends on July 27.

Sovereign Bank entices customers to apply for their Premier Checking Package with an offer of $125. To receive the bonus cash, customers must activate their account by July 31 and “make five debit card purchases or set up one direct deposit by September 30,” says GoBankingRate.

These promotions are appealing, but be mindful to read the fine print of what lies underneath these offers. “[T]he key to finding the best checking account is not just focusing on the bonus cash amount being offered, but the account’s terms and conditions,” says Jennifer Calonia, editor of GoBankingRates, “because that’s what matters beyond the promotional cut-off date.”

Nine Habits Of An Obsessive-Compulsive Money Hoarder

May 2nd, 2013 - By Blair Bedford
Share to Twitter Email This
Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Do you find yourself checking your bank account on a daily basis over and over again? Do you give a side-eye to the idea of a joint account with your current or future spouse, automatic bill payments and building credit? If this sounds like you or someone you know, you may be a money hoarder; one who excessively acquires money, but has difficulty spending it or letting go financial control.

Here are a few ways to tell if you are hoarding your own money, unable to trust your family, your bank, or even yourself with spending it, in fear of losing a little bit of control.

Is Your Money Safe? What To Do When A Credit Union Fails

March 19th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
Share to Twitter Email This
AP Photo/Toby Talbot

This particular credit union seems to be fine, BTW. AP Photo/Toby Talbot

The year 2013 is relatively young yet already nearly 20 credit unions have failed, according to Bankrate.com .

Two in small ones in Southern California have just been shut down by federal regulators. Deposits will be returned to members. The credit unions were  the Pepsi Cola Federal Credit Union of Buena Park and ICE Federal Credit Union of Inglewood. They were insolvent, with no prospects for restoring viable operations, the National Credit Union Administration in news releases reports The Los Angeles Times.

And these unions have been around for decades. The Pepsi Cola Federal was chartered in 1956 and served 558 members. It had $652,000 in assets.

Meanwhile ICE Federal, which was chartered in 1939 and served Inglewood city employees and their families, had 942 members and assets of $3.4 million.

If you have your money in a credit union don’t panic. There are ways to keep your money safe. According to Bankrate.com, avoid privately insured credit unions; federally insured are safer. Keep your deposits below $250,000. Deposits are federally insured up to $250,000.

If you are using a credit union, be on the look out for warning signs that the union is in trouble. “Such institutions may pay lower deposit rates or offer poor service,” warns Bankrate. On the good side, if your union is having finical trouble you will probably find out sooner than later. Credit unions are more transparent than banks as they hold annual meetings that are open to members. They also issue annual reports and post financial statements every month.

Bankrate.com advises to have an action plan for a credit union failure. “If your credit union does go belly up, wait three months before deciding whether to switch to another institution. It can take 30 days to three months just to find a taker for a failed credit union. Once that happens, its members are notified,” writes the financial site.

To check out your credit union’s financial health, visit  the National Credit Union Administration website or Bankrate.com’s Safe & Sound.

What’s The 411, Hon? Mary J. Blige Hit With A Tax Lien!

February 17th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
Share to Twitter Email This
Source: WENN

Source: WENN

Mary, this is…out of hand.

In documents obtained by TMZ, singer Mary J. Blige has been hit with a tax lien by the state of New Jersey. The documents state that Mary owes the government $901,769.65 in back taxes.  They didn’t state what years the IRS is seeking back pay but she’s probably missed at least two years.

This is just the latest string of financial problems and embarrassments for Mary.  It was just over a week ago that we told you she defaulted on a loan from Bank of America and now owes them over $500,000. When she was asked about it, she said was that all she can do is just keep pushing on on and “let haters hate.” Ahhh yes, those haters sure do know how to get you in alleged financial trouble, don’t they?

But even prior to that, she defaulted on a $2.2 million dollar loan and  before that, she was sued because of her charity not paying back money.

It would seem like when you suddenly find yourself in major situations like this on an almost consistent basis, not only would you fire your accountants (even if they’re flesh and blood), but you might also consider taking some accounting classes so you can figure out how to go over the books yourself.  There just doesn’t seem to be a logical reason for these things to keep happening.

TMZ reached out to Mary’s reps but so far, they’ve received no response.

Nine Old School Money Management Tips

January 21st, 2013 - By Blair Bedford
Share to Twitter Email This
Shutterstock

Shutterstock

As a millennial generation heads into their 20s and 30s, many have had either a great or not-so great example of what it means to manage their money. Although the age of careers, job searches, marriages and first homes are approaching, many millennials still have no clue what it truly means to manage money for their long-term success and comfort. Even parents are sometimes shaky resources for personal finance information.

2012 U.S. News Money article finds that Generation Xers (who are now in their 30s and 40s) are the generation with the most financial frustration. Retirees are increasingly responsible for their own savings, income, and financial futures. Let’s face it, we all can use an old-fashioned money management lesson every now and again.

Let’s all learn a little bit from past generations, and keep your money flowing with these old school money management tips.

Banks Waiving Fees For Customers Affected By Hurricane Sandy

October 31st, 2012 - By Ann Brown
Share to Twitter Email This

 

iStockphoto

Banks are showing a little heart — finally. In wake of Hurricane Sandy several have announced that they are waiving bank fees.

JP Morgan Chase, which is the biggest bank in America, said they are do away with various fees until November 1, reports The Huffington Post. These fees include overdraft protection transfer and extended overdraft as well as late fees on credit cards, business and consumer loans, including mortgages, home-equity, auto and student loans.

Citibank, meanwhile, will not charge customers out-of-network ATM surcharges.

Wells Fargo, too, is offering relief from late fees through November 1 and waiving out-of-network ATM fees for customers in affected areas.

Bank of America said that if you incurred late fees because of the storm, contact the bank to have these fees dropped. This includes out-of-network ATM surcharges.

TD Bank customers can ask to have late-payment and out-of-network ATM fees waived.

And Barclays is waiving late fees as well through November 1.

So pay attention to your ATM receipts and online bank accounts to make sure you’re not incurring these charges.