Friday, December 10, 2010

Bankers are Crooks

I recently received the following notice in a personal email, sent to me from the bank which holds both my checking and savings account:

Good afternoon Jerry, First I wanted to thank you for banking with US Bank and noticed upon review of your accounts that your checking account is currently unprotected.

I wanted to take this time to let you know that you are pre-qualified for what is called a Reserve Line of credit with us. that is a line of credit that attatches to your checking account so in the event that if by some chance the checking accoutn were to go overdrawn it would take the money from your line of credit and transfer it to your checking so that you dont get any overdraft chatges or possiblly have any items returned.

It does not cost you anything to have this protection it just sits there if you dont [sic] use it. If in the line of credit does advance it will transfer money in $50.00 increments and there is a $10.00 transfer fee which is much less then the cost of one overdraft fee. I see no reason why everyone who qualifies for this product should not have one just for peace of mind of knowing its there if there ever was a mistake.

Please let me know if you are interested in moving forward with this, as your pre-qualification will not last forever, it will expire on 12/13/10.

Thank You


First, overdraft fees were $17, last time I had to pay one. This was charged every day, until the overdraft was relieved.

However, this new plan would not charge an overdraft fee; instead, it would take $50 from my "Line of Credit", and charge me a $10 fee for doing so.

But they do not say that they will be only one $10 fee; I assume they mean to charge me $10 for EACH $50 transfer from my savings.

So if I write a check for $1000 for my rent, and I have no money left in my account, they will deduct $1000 from my savings account, and charge me a $10 fee for each of the $50 increments needed to make up this payment .. which is 20 $50 increments ... for a total of $200.

Further, there is nothing to suggest that this $1,000 plus $200 would be the end of the 'fees'. It is possible, but not addressed in the announcement, that this "line of credit" plus fee would not be imposed every business day until I have replaced the $1,000 in my savings account.

No, that is not explicitly cited in the email I received. On the other hand, there is nothing mentioned in the email to suggest that this would NOT happen. Even though the prospect seems outrageous, the email does nothing to relieve our minds about it; if they do not specifically say they will NOT charge recurring fees every day until an (undefined) condition is not met, who is to say that the bank will not require this sort of outrageous funds-renewal?

Nothing. They can do anythiung they want, because it is a "Fee", not "Interest".

Recent changes in Federal banking laws have (supposedly) tightened up on the interest that banks can charge depositors. But you know as well as I do that banks ... and businesses .. will refuse to eat money-making schemes which are newly outlawed by Federal regulations.

Congress, and the Senate, will do whatever it takes to make it appear as if they have the best interests of the Common Citizen as their primary interest. In truth, they just want to look good so they can get reelected.

Business will also make a similar attempt to appear as if they have their customers' best interest at heart. In truth, they just want to make a profit and keep their customers while doing so. If Federal regulations tighten up on their profit margin in one area, they will merely adjust their business practices to make more money in another area.

And this is what's happening in America today: Government is attempting to impose controls on private business; private business is responding by finding new ways to maximize their profits. It's up to the individual customer to look out for themselves, and be aware of all the ways that "legitimate business" may find to screw them.

It is left as an exercise to the student to compare and contrast Capitalism, Socialism, and Communism. Here's a hint: in Communism, the individual has little choice of where to live and how to earn money but the Government will determine the distribution of resources; in Socialism, the individual can do what he wishes, where he wishes, but the Government will determine the distribution of resources; in Captialism, you can live where you want and work in any industry you want, as long as you can find and hold a job.