bye bye bank

This morning, we were woken at 8.15 am by the phone ringing.  It was an automated message from T's credit card company, reminding him that he had a payment due, and offering him the opportunity to make the payment by phone.  Since they charge for the phone payments, he declined, but he did turn the computer on right away to make a payment before it was overdue.

He clicked onto our bank's site, only to discovered that it had been closed yesterday by the Office of Thrift Supervision, just like in the This American Life episode about what happens when the FDIC takes over a bank.  He was still able to make the electronic payment, but it definitely made us pay attention.  Last fall, when lots of banks were failing, I did wonder about the security of this bank — which was essentially entirely online, with just one actual branch — but after double checking that it was covered by the FDIC, I chose not to worry about it.  I'm sort of surprised that it failed now — isn't the banking crisis supposed to be over?

Our account is now part of Stearns Bank, whose website indicates that they've taken over no less than four failed banks.  I'll wait and see what terms they offer us — what I most liked about ebank was that I could use any ATM, and they would reimburse us for the fees charged by the bank. Otherwise, I'm not sure what bank I'll move to.  Probably Schwab, since we already have a brokerage account with them.

4 Responses to “bye bye bank”

  1. Elizabeth Says:

    We have the same ATM deal at First Internet Bank of Indiana, for what that’s worth (up to $6/month for each of us, so not unlimited, but not hard to stay within). We’ve banked with them for about ten years, I think.

  2. amy Says:

    Wow. Sorry to hear it, and hope FDIC comes through quickly.
    I remember in early days of ScotTrade and the other mini-fee online-only brokerages I was tempted enough to order (paper) info, but couldn’t shake the fly-by-night feel. So I’ve stuck with a local bank & credit union, though who knows if they’re really in better shape. I have accounts at Schwab, but if I had anyplace better to move them to, I would — they got much, much too big too fast.

  3. kathy a. Says:

    crap. hope the new bank works out, whichever one you end up with. glad your $ didn’t go poof. but that’s kinda scary stuff.

  4. Virago Says:

    What an unpleasant surprise — I join the others in hoping that all the dust settles quickly.
    Unfortunately, according to Reuters, it sounds like the banking crisis will continue for a while: http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE57O4KX20090825?sp=true
    Scary factoids from the story:
    “Regulators have shuttered 81 banks so far this year, compared with 25 last year, and three in 2007.”
    “Richard Bove of Rochdale Securities said on Sunday that 150 to 200 more U.S. banks will fail in the current banking crisis …”
    “The (FDIC) insurance fund has been drained to its lowest level relative to deposits since 1993, largely because the FDIC must pull out money for expected bank failures over the next year.”

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