Current Complaints and Class Action Suits against Major Banks
Most have the impression that all banks are trustworthy institutions which will handle our personal finances with the utmost diligence, and that bankers are always honorable and honest. The actual truth of the matter is that banks are designed to make money and customers are no more than a commodity who have to be lured to the bank to leave their money. The fallacy here is that customers become viewed as objects rather than individuals.
When we look at the banking giants in the US and around the world we will find that they are often fraught with allegations of scandal and corruption. All have a long list of class action suits which have been filed against them by customers for mishandling of their funds. Now allow me to say in defense of these institutions that a complaint which has not been resolved is no more than an unproven allegation, but if the list is long it definitely indicates a problem. I have personally had dealings with several different banks over my lifetime and have discovered that each has its own personality. Some have friendly customer service policies while it seems that many others have absolutely no consideration for the wellbeing of their depositors. Banks are institutions which are run by people and represent a microcosm of society just as any other organization. All institutions have corrupt individuals in them who will perform corrupt practices regardless of what they do.
Banks which we Gripe about the Most
Regions Financial and Comerica receive the most complaints when measured relative to the amount of money which customers have deposited. This statistic can indicate a systemic problem with the institutions, but will have to be viewed in accordance with the composition of their customer base. The profiles of customers who deposit their money in these institutions will have to be analyzed to determine the validity of this statistic. Complaints are not selectively categorized. They consist of every possible variety. Many may be for things such as customer service, bank fees, or policies which customers just deem to be inconvenient.
Bank of America and Wells Fargo receive more complaints than all other banking institutions, but keep in mind that these are the largest so this can be expected. Larger banks by nature need to impose more controls on their own practices and customers in order to guarantee uniformity. This is a consideration to keep in mind when we look at the number of complaints which have been filed against the institution in question. Another variable is the total number of customers who do business with them. Since these institutions are so well known it is quite possible that they have many more customers than the others. More customers will always result in a greater number of filed complaints.
What can you do?
Due diligence is required when dealing with any service institution. You need to insure that you are placing your money in a place in which you as a customer are comfortable. Take the time to do research on the financial institution, and make an objective determination about the number and types of complaints which have been filed against it. Research is free and easy to perform. Keep in mind that customer complaints are not always legitimate. Some customers will also file multiple complaints because of their self-centeredness. Many individual complaints don’t have merit, but reviewing them according to their nature will give you an accurate indication of bank service trends.