Jan 9, 2013
How many of us actually pay attention to the advantages and disadvantages of working with different banks? Mostly, we deposit checks, write checks and withdrawal cash. But when you’re making your banking decision and building that relationship as an entrepreneur, remember to look at every possible cash-making opportunity for the bank and how it will affect your operations.
We received our bank statement for Vircity on Tuesday. Going through the reconciliation process, I found a $3.98 charge for “Account Analysis Fee.” Humm. . . I didn’t recall asking the bank to do any sort of analysis on my account, so I went to my bank to ask about it.
(I realize it’s only $4, but how many people think “it’s only $4” and never take the time to ask and just keep paying it month after month?)
While waiting for the representative to meet with me, I asked the two tellers if they had any idea what it was. They had no idea but said I wasn’t the first customer to come in and inquire, so they were curious as well. The representative I spoke to also had no idea what it was for and made a few telephone calls. She discovered it was for “change.”
“Change?” I said. “As in, I hand you a $20 bill and ask for two $10 bills in return?”
We’ve done business with this bank for more than six years primarily because it is conveniently located, which made it easy to make deposits and get change. In six years, we were never charged any sort of “Account Analysis Fee” for the tellers to turn our $20 bill into two $10 bills. Now, when we look at the teeny tiny fine print of our banking agreement, we see it says that they can charge us to convert our larger bills into smaller ones, a charge that previously had never been exercised on our account.
I realize everyone needs to make money, but charging me to convert my money once in a blue moon does not seem fair. I understand if a business is in the bank five times a day. But once every two weeks? My guess is either the bank’s corporate office wondered why this retail bank was not generating more income converting all of its clients’ money into change or a new manager came in and decided to make sure this branch of the bank operated by the book.
In either case, I now know that if I need to go make change, it’s going to cost me $4 — unless I can find that sweet teller who takes pity on my infrequent change requests and converts my $20 bill without charging me.