Due to the poor service out of the corporate office in Columbia, we moved our business accounts, which carry very high balances in the trust accounts, from First Citizens several years ago. The people in the local branch area great, but hampered by the banks policies and lack of performance at the corporate level.
In June, First Citizens did a hostile take over of the bank where our business accounts were located. It has been one problem after another, and one false/broken promiise after another. It truly feel sorry for the old bank's employees. They were so great at customer service, and now have to endure the lies told by the First Citizens group, and become part of them.
As an example, our "banking relationship" manager was a wonder woman and worked tirelessly to give us a great banking experience. She, and we, were told she was now out of that position, moved to another branch and was originating commercial loans from June 2011 forward.
After several significant stumbles and falls by First Citizens on our accounts, in August, the Senior VP, and the VP of Marketing in Charleston. During that meeting, both of those people contradicted their orginal decisions and statements about our former bankers position, much to the surprise of our former banker (also in attendance). When they contradicted themselves, I quietly pointed out that it was very telling that they had, once again, changed her position, and she did n't even know it.
They did not respond to that statement. They also changed their stories within the conversation on more than one occasion. Since the Senior VP is a politician as well as a banker, the lack of credibility in anything he says was the loudest message in the room.
After our meeting, I sent them the following letter:
Thank you for your time and attention in meeting with me last Thursday.
Taking over an existing business and aligning it with a different one can be a challenging process. I have done that twice, and no matter how much preparation, there are always missteps and unexpected developments that effect the customer/client relationship. It is unavoidable.
It is admirable when those responsible step up to the plate, admit the errors and address the issues forthrightly. Doing so increases credibility and is a testament to their integrity.
It is equally disconcerting when there are contradictions, double talk, and justifications made on the fly that are incongruent with the reality of the experience. That, too, effects credibility and integrity.
You have given me much to think about.
It is telling that I did not receive ANY response to that letter. Three VP's in the meeting, contradictory stories and justifications, a letter to give them yet another opportunity show some integrity . . . and silence from First Citizens.
Today, we found out that in the transition from one bank to the other, they have changed the amount of funds in the account, changed the names of the accounts, and have lost the history of the accounts! And the government thinks this is better service than a bank where we had nothing but, correct accounting and POSITIVE experiences?
We are now in the process of selecting a new bank to move our accounts.
How sad, frustrating, and unnecessary!
During an extreme financial hardship after three years with a real estate loan from First Citizens, I called First Citizens here in Greenville for help. They "helped" by trying to get me to switch all my savings/checking/retirement accounts with them and asking me what other assets I had....they even set up the appointment the same week, how nice of them. I caught on to what they were after, luckily, and told them I would consider transferring once my loan was extended. It WAS extended for another year and after struggling to pay that I called them a few months later and told them I could not pay the loan any more with a layoff, a pay reduction from my company, and medical bills piling up and I needed advice. "He", from the Parkway office, said there was "nothing we can do to help". After advice from a lawyer, we stopped paying on the loan to support our family and make our house payment. We also stopped paying the medical bills recently after two years of struggling with all of this. First Citizens Bank has now hit us with a defeciency judgement for the amount of the loan that was not satisfied, a total of $70,000. We barely have that in our home equity and our two cars are less than $4000 each. My lawyer said that they did not have to do the defeciency judgment and that they "screwed us good", his exact words. We are just trying to survive in this economy, our credit has ALWAYS been excellent until now, no one saw this coming. Me, my children and family will never do business with this bank again.....their "help" was only to their advantage, I feel they turned their back on us. I am guessing they want to push us out of our home and get maybe half what we owe them and put us on the street. I don't think that amount will justify their loss of business if they treat everyone like this. This is not our fault, it is due to the economy and everyone has suffered.....don't kick me when I am already in a ditch.
I have had first citizens since my freshman year of college and I'm currently 25 y/o so that's about 7 years. My freshman year I overdrew my account. It was either $25 or $35 (I honestly can't remember which one) plus $5 EACH DAY it was in the negative. Finally after $90 in the negative I went to them and told them if you do not stop this you will never get your money. Seven years later I have never overdrawn my account again the first time was a lesson learned. Well recently I cashed a check given to me for a service that was given, I deposited a few dollars and took the rest cash. A couple days later I see an insufficient funds fee on my account and I'm thinking why do I have an insufficient funds fee on my account if my account is not in the negative. Well I emailed them and they told me that the check that was given to me was a bad check (how am I supposed to know if someone's check is good or bad, I do not know what other people have in their accounts), so they took the amount of the check out of my account as an INSUFFICIENT FUNDS FEE plus $12 for what they called a CHARGE BACK FEE. I called and asked them why am I getting charged for SOMEONE ELSE writing a bad check shouldn't they be charged for that not me?!?! She pretty much told me I have to go to the person who wrote me the bad check and get my money plus any fees that was charged to my account back. So the person who wrote the bad check gets off scott free and I have to go through the headache to get my money back when they could have just had the overdraft fee posted on the other person's account. I also have a car that is a couple of years old and they wanted me to refinance it through the bank (in the 3 years I have had my car I have had maybe 1 late payment other than that I pay more than the minimum monthly payments). After trying they told me I have to put down like 1/3 of the amount I still owed for them to put it through, if I had that much I would have just payed it on my car not give it to them. All of the ATM machines are like outdated, you cannot deposit cash or checks into them you have to go through the drive through or walk in. One Friday I went through the drive through to deposit a check and I was the ONLY PERSON IN LINE, she told me that they do not do deposits in the drive through on Fridays I would have to come in because that slows up their lines (once again that I was the only person there at the time). With an ATM machine like 3 feet away why would someone else be in the line but to deposit or cash checks. My fiance keeps telling me I should transfer to the credit union where I can deposit cash or checks in the ATM, and they will not charge me if someone else gives me a bad check, and where they are open 30 minutes longer. This time I really am leaving. I see no point in being with them, I have yet to see an advantage to being with First Citizens. TAKE YOUR MONEY ELSEWHERE!!!!!
I have been a customer of this bank for over 7 years. I have incurred so many overdraft fees because I'm a single mother who is barely scraping by in this economy. I have asked repeatedly for a small overdraft protection of $500.00 to avoid getting hit with $35.00 fees for amounts no bigger than $7.00!! Seriously? They say they are all about customer satisfaction and service. They STINK, plain and simple. They are all about big business, and sticking it to the little people. I was always going into the negative because when they charged all of those fees, it took me months to get into the positive again.
I wrote them and asked them to back off a few fees, and they wouldn't even budge. Hello? You're bank is just as guilty as other big banks placing people on the streets with fraudulent appraisals just so your bank could make some quick cash on foreclosures. You should be ashamed of yourselves!! I will NEVER recommend this bank to anyone, and I will make sure that everyone I know takes a look at other financial institutions for loans, checking and savings.
Don't waste valuable time at First Citizens... Used to be great...now it's just another bank. If you have a 700+ beacon and work for a large Corp and need a BMW loan... They are your guys. If you are a small business doing less than 3 million a year, run run run away.