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How to File a Complaint Against Your Bank or Credit Union


Have you experienced a problem with your bank or credit union that you have not been able to resolve? It may be time for you to contact the regulator of your financial institution. Unfortunately, our banking system doesn't make this easy since there are many regulators which have responsibilities for different financial institutions. I've included links to two government resources that will help you find the correct regulator:

  • File a Bank Complaint - This is a good place to start to file a complaint against a bank. The site is intended for National Banks regulated by the OCC, but if your bank isn't a National Bank, it will help you find the correct regulator
  • File a Credit Union Complaint - This NCUA page is the place to start for filing a complaint against a credit union. If your problem is with a federal credit union, the NCUA may be able to help. However, if it's not a federal credit union, your first line of help should be from the state regulator.

It's important to note that the regulator may not provide the help you had wanted. The FDIC describes the limit of its authority in complaint resolution at this page:

Our scope of authority does not ordinarily extend to the resolution of complaints involving factual disputes or contractual matters, or matters that have been or are in the process of being litigated.

Some readers have reported receiving no help from a regulator after they submitted a complaint. However, some readers have reported success. One recent example was when a bank changed their add-on policy on existing CDs. The reader wrote a letter to the FDIC, the bank's federal regulator. The FDIC contacted the bank about the issue, and the bank decided to rescind its policy change. I described this incident and posted excerpts of the letters in this post. As you can see in this example, it can pay to send a complaint to your financial institution's regulator.



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Comments
26 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I have been struggling with a situation involving Bank of the Sierra.  When they first lauched their reward checking product their disclosure stated that you had to make one bill payment per statement cycle.  They say that they meant that the bill payment had to "clear" the account not simply be requested for payment in a cycle.  This is problematic when the payment is in the form of a check and the payee cannot control the speed with which the vendor negotiates the check.  The bank has since changed the language of their disclosure, but will not honor the former language.  I started a complaint with my state Attorney General's Office and the bank would not respond to them.  They handed it off to the California Attorney General who said that they had no jurisdiction.  Next, I tried the Better Business Bureau (the bank is not a member) and the bank refused to settle the matter.  Thus, it is listed as an unresolved dispute.  Next, I went to the California agency that regulates state chartered banks and they required the bank to respond to me in writing.  They denied the claim for the interest rate that I believe that I was entitled to earn for the one month period in question.  Again, the bank's position was negative.  I wrote a rebuttal and again this again brought a negative response.  I believe that I am at the end of the line with this regulatory agency.  I am now considering the FDIC.  I am confident that the bank has spent more in resources to respond to my claim than it would have in paying me the very nominal sum that I believe that I was due.  However, I suspect that they are worried that if they pay me they will have to consider other claims.  Frankly, this is a small regional bank that seems to have the mentality of some of the very large national banks that we have grown to hate!

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Comment #2 by adityanm posted on
adityanm
The banks don't give a hoot to complaints to  CCC.

It has been two months since I filed a complaint to CCC but the bank has not even  responded to them or me.

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Comment #3 by 51hh posted on
51hh
Anon. #1: I hava to say that I agree with BotS on this point, i.e., of course the payment has to be cleared before the statement closing date.  It is your responsibility to ensure that, and you have a full one month to do that.

That said, you may write (nicely and politely) to the botS executive office (say at VP level) for a coutesy interest credit, claiming that you did not expect such a lengthy billpay process for the payment. 

It may be more effective to work with the bank (from low level to high management level) than to report them to outside agencies.

Just my two cents.

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Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Dear 51hh,

I turned to the regulatory agencies ONLY after I tried without success to make progress with the bank.  With regard to your comment about "cleared" funds, that is not what the disclosure indicated.  The discloseure is the contact of operation and their operational policy must align with that disclosure.  Since they changed their disclosure recently,it seems to me that they realized that they had a problem.  How do you define customer good will?  It does not seem that this bank has an understanding in this regard.  Such a positive approach to solving problems yields fewer cases needing to go to regulatory agencies.

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Comment #5 by drjoanv posted on
drjoanv
I had a complaint against America's credit union in Washington state.  Almost 2 yrs ago I had opened several "add on"  CD's....After the accts were opened, I talked to both the VP of the branch and CSR.....and was told that I could NOT add to the acct thereafter.   The accts were at 5% and won't mature until Oct 2010 so it made a difference.  Then in april of this yr, I read at this site that an instititution could not change the terms after the acct was open.  I immediately called the CU and was told that they had made an error when telling me that I could not add to the acct.   It was ONLY acctss that were opened towards the end of OCT 2008 that ceased to be "add ons". But by that time I had lost a yr's worth of interest at the higher amount.

I filed a complaint with NCUA...the end result was that NCUA said that it was a question of "customer relations" and that they could do nothing. 

So filing a complaint went no where.

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Comment #6 by 51hh posted on
51hh
Anon. #1/#4:

So one initiates a BillPay, the fund reaches the payee, then the fund is deducted often on the same date.  Their BillPay feature is one of the best with good speed (last time I tried).  But I agree with you that many RCA banks design rules/regulations (on debit transaactions, ACH, even e-statement) to minimize the likelihood of success in getting RCA interest.  They also assume that most customers would not bother to meet RCA requirements month after month.

One strategy I adopted in regards to debit transactions and ACHs is to do it ASAP, preferrably the first week after the closing of the last statement cycle.  Then toward the last week of the current monthly cycle, double check all the activities online to ensure all requirements are met.  As a safety margin, I typically do 1-2 more transactions (in debit/ACH) just to make sure.  If a weakness is shown at that time, I do make-up transactions in the last week.  This strategy does not quarantee 100% success, but it does mitigate the risks created by RCA bank design.

As for filing complaints, be patient and reasonable.  Most people are more open to courtesy rather than criticism/threat.  In general, try at least five CSRs/supervisors over the phone at various time before resorting to writing.  I almost always get a nice CSR (i.e., with patience and willingless to accmmodate) after several attempts.  They all go beyond their ways to help me.  I am sure that there are some nice CSRs at BotS as well.

As for writing, always go to the top.  First, compliment their dedication/service nicely.  Second, state the issue and your effort to resolve the issue (mentioning CSRs/supervisors by name) succinctly.  Third, suggest options for resolution humbly and respectfully.

Good luck.   

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Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
To file a complaint, it helps to know which Federal or State agency supervises your bank. 

State banks are controlled by their State Attorney Generals' Office.  You can look at http://www.affil.org/home/consumer-tips-and-help/get-help-with-a-problem ; click your state and look under "File A Complaint".

Helpwithmybank.gov is for Federal Banks, not for State Banks, and here is the online complaint form, run by The Office of the Comptroller of Currency OCC:

https://appsec.helpwithmybank.gov/olcc_form/

Here is the Federal Reserve banking complaint form:

http://www.federalreserveconsumerhelp.gov/consumercomplaint.cfm

Better Business Bureau:

https://odr.bbb.org/odrweb/public/getstarted.aspx

The more complaints there are against a bank, the more likely that action will be taken to help your case.

More info at the Americans for Fairness in Lending website:

http://www.affil.org/get_active/complaint.php

 

 

 

4
Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
My experience with a complaint to the NCUA was unimpressive. They forwarded my complaint to the credit union and the credit union answered (poorly) 2 of the five items I complained about and ignored the other 3 iessues). As a finance MBA (with two cash management certifications) and 30 years of large corporate treasury experience, I am appalled by

1. How this complaint was handled by NCUA.

2. The caliber of their personnel and

3. Their review of the credit union answer to my complaint.

I was told by an executive at a different credit union that the NCUA is primarily focused on insurance issues for credit unions.

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Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Could someone please tell me what to do:

 

I have a CD with America's Credit Union and it matured on the 15th. They told me they sent me a check but I never got it and in order for them to put a stop payment on the check they want me to to sign something that states that

a) You agree to hold America's Credit Union harmless for said amount and to indemnify it against any loss, expense and/or costs incurred by reason of its refusal to pay said check

b) You also agree not to hold America's Credit Union liable in the event payment is made contrary to this request through inadvertance or oversight.

c) You also agree that this stop payment is done for cause only.

The stop payment will expire 6 months from the date of your order unless renewed in writing prior to that date.

 

..so...what does all this mean?



 

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Comment #11 by krishna kumar (anonymous) posted on
krishna kumar
Hi, there is an easy way to resolve your complaint, first you need to file a complaint with your bank and if you don't get a reply within 30 days, then you need to file the complaint to the Banking Ombudsman. You can read this particular article in this Akosha went ahead and looked at the various issues relating to the banking problem. You can find the full article <a href="http://www.akosha.com/consumer-complaints/article/comprehensive-guide-approaching-banking-ombudsman-india">about an complaint against bank</a>. Do share your thoughts on the article.

2
Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I have been a member of the State Employees Credit Union for over 25 years.  Over the last 10 years, I have done much business which included savings, checking, auto loans, RV loan, and HELOC.  They have always more than met my needs.  In late April, SECUGA joined with the Federal Credit Union to become GA United Credit Union. This was the beginning of a horrible experience fo me.  "Members beware"  It all stated when I applied for an auto loan around July 1, 2011.  Some of the complaints included poor commications, very long hold times and unclear, misleading or wrong information.  After talking to several supervisors and driving to the main office twice most of my issues were resolved.  Unless things really improve, I will take my business somewhere else.

5
Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I got a letter from my insurance company saying that my bank had not paid my insurance premium (out the escrow of my mortgage payment).  So, I wrote to the bank asking them to release my insurance from escrow and they did.

Then I got a refund and a new payment book, however, the payment book did not reflect the fact that I had been a month ahead on my mortgage payment.  No one at the bank can tell me the disposition of the little coupons you tear out of your payment book (even though they copy everything else).  Now they are making go back three years and prove I was ahead a month.  By the way, this is Regions bank.  They always smile when you pull up to the window.  That's because they are happy they are so easily able to rob you and cheat you out of your money!

2
Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I have had constant problems with Bank of America and my Flood Insurance.  4 phone calls and it still isn't resolved.  I only have coverage for the purchase price which they allowed when I purchased the house 2 years ago and also last year with an opt out for additional coverage.  This year they keep lieing to me saying the opt out is approved?  What do they mean approved?  And the form has been mailed for me to sign, only to find out 10 days later it was never mailed and it wasn't approved.   Totally fustrated, this isn't anything in my contract regarding this and I feel they are ****ing me over and getting to talk to the people that do this supposed approval is not easy pulling teeth would be easier..

1
Comment #15 by Gene S (anonymous) posted on
Gene S
My money is being held hostage by a credit union!

A year ago I joined a credit union that I thought was credible and had integrity. It is the credit union for federal employees and military – PenFed. I sent them $500. Turns out I was dead wrong.

After several attempts to get a log in so I could see my account – they don’t mail anything about account status to members (but see below for the use of the mail) – I called to find that out on the phone. I was told I couldn’t get that info unless I had the pin number (duh!). finally I asked to close the account and send my money back. That’s where the fun begins.

I was required by a PenFed rep to have several documents notarized and sent to him at a fax number he specified. That would prove who I am, I suppose. Including a utility bill, my social security card (who still has theirs?) and a picture ID. Why these documents weren’t required to open the account but are required to close it wasn’t made clear. But I followed up and sent them to the fax provided. Oh, wrong – he gave me a wrong area code. We found the correct one on their website and sent the documents.

Then I replied to his email asking for confirmation of receipt. The email bounced back despite several attempts. I called and could not get to this man, but another employee told me to send my documents again, this time to a different fax number. So I did that, then called as instructed to confirm receipt. Yep, received. Now can I answer all the security questions I provided when the account was opened? By now steaming a bit I answered all the questions correctly. NOW could I get my money? Not quite yet!

Now they need to send me a pin number that I must call them with in order to get a refund! Really? Are they still not convinced I’m me? How can that be? OK, can you email it to me? No, we don’t email anything like that. We have to send it via the post office. Really? And trust that the post office will deliver it to my mail box sometime in the next x days so I can then MAYBE get someone to actually cut me a check.

And for all this I have earned in the past year a grand total of $1.48 in interest!

This has to be the most incompetent organization on the planet. They should not have custody of people’s money. Not mine, and certainly not yours! Be warned!

4
Comment #16 by pearlbrown posted on
pearlbrown
Sorry to hear about your experience.  Mine was so diifferent that I read your post a second time to make sure we were talking about the same institution. 

In late March of 2010, I joined PenFed by phone.  The CSR was pleasant, professional and helpful.  I purchased a CD at the same time by providing her the routing number and account number to be drafted.    She in turn provided me with the account number and a PIN to establish login credentials.  Later that day, I logged in and, although I expected to see nothing more than a 0 balance, was delighted that they had credited my new account right away, although my bank wasn't drafted until the following day.  The screen print confirming these details as well as my notes of the conversation are in my PenFed file.  

I have not had any problems with PenFed on any transactions to date.  However, if only the same could be said of the vendor (Maritz) responsible for servicing the rewards program associated with their Amex Premium Travel Rewards card.... they make the Keystone Cops look tightly orchestrated and dignified.

Some friendly advice:  if you don't have a copy of your Social Security card, your local SS office will send you a replacement.  Store it safely, IIRC there is a lifetime max on the number of times you can get a replacement. 

Good luck to you~

4
Comment #17 by Jacqueline Amos (anonymous) posted on
 Jacqueline Amos
I am a person who was robbed by Chase bank, as a person with multi disabilities, I feel because of 9000 dollars set  away for any services for my medical; job related incident, robbed and assaulted in classroom, it made them feel that they could take my money and use the excuse that I was mentally incompetent, I am very aware of whats going on around me, I am a publish author, International artist because of disabilities my moble ability has detered me from moving around,  I have been ignore by Chase bank, On and about 2008 I have been trying to get someone to listen to me, I put 85 thousand dollars in chase bank, before the year January 2010 all of my monies was gone, On June 2009 I put my social security check in as well direct deposit, my money went all in about three months, Chase allowed someone to enter my account, with my checking account number, they put in 250 said chase, I tried to get account changed I was ignored, In the year of 2010 someone called chase and cancelled my debit card, Chase did not inform me, I found out when I tried to purchase something, chase was also double charging me; I have tried to set up appointment with the bank I was ignored, I found in the beginning of this year, Chase deleted my account summaries without my permission after asking them not too, No one contacted me from the bank, they continue to tell me that thousands of dollars was used with my debit card that was impossible, when I asked for a investigation there was no letter informing me of investigation, I told the bank and they were aware someone in there office was stealing my money, 45,000 dollars, and my social security check went so fast, I had thousand of dollars when I added social security check direct deposit that went fast also, My identity was stolen and chase new it, they new it when they allow a woman on Nov 2011 go into my account and add money. I could not prove she added it, it was deducted out of my account. I did not buy a car, or did I spend mult thousands of dollars, I asked for them to calculate the monies on my summary they would not, I was denied access to my account for one year, I was blocked from entering it, when I went to download it from another computer, most of my summary was blank, stating office use. I did save both summaries, nevertheless Chase deleted the 2 account without my permission. My social security check should have not been touched, because I had a few thousands of dollars, before bank took moneys in bank account, as well social security, I have totally ignored by bank.

2
Comment #28 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I hate Chase Bank...they did the same thing to my daughter, husband and myself. How and why they got away with it is mind boggling.  I always thought there was an agency who monitors banks and credit unions...what was I thinking. 

1
Comment #18 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
i have had a situation with my credit union and employer regarding the auto-deduction i have for a car loan.  i want to stop the automatic deduction from my paycheck and just write a check to the credit union for the payment.  I contacted my employer's payroll dept. and they would not stop the deduction because they needed permission from the credit union.  i ask the credit union to stop the direct depost and they will not.  i've gone all the way up to the president of the CU and still nothing.  i don't understand why my employer won't stop the deduction since the contract for the car is between me and the CU.  my employer has nothing to do with it.  I don't know where to turn now.  anyone have suggestions?

2
Comment #19 by pearlbrown posted on
pearlbrown
Not familiar with this situation, but will make a guess. 

Did you by any chance get a better rate on your auto loan by agreeing to the payroll deduction?  If so, that could be why the credit union will not agree to your request. 

2
Comment #20 by monika W. (anonymous) posted on
monika W.
Hi there, I hope to get some positive feedback regarding my problem with BOA. I am an European married to an american we bought 2 homes in 2006 we got convinced from the agent and bank and they gave us over 400000$ of credit without ANY financereport. we never lived in the US for the last 20 years and never had a creditcart or ever paid any bill (power phone...) in the US. At the time I was unemployed watching my little baby girl. My husband lost his job in iraq and .... we lost one house last year could't pay anymore the second house is on shortsale now.... we got approved as a foreign national loan even if my husband is an US citisan and I am not on the credit, how is that possible. Second question, my financial advisor in Europe told me they should have never approved such ammount of money with no credit history and knowing that only one person is working and his income was 88000 a year. they made us pay down for each home 70 000$ and we paid the credit as longest we could but now we have a second child and I can't work again. We are pursuing in pressing charges against the bank because we feel like that was a setup for failure and we were to naive to know at that timt. there is no way they should have approved to give us 40000$ credit without a credit history, that is very easy to prove! can you please share your thoughts and where to find a good lawyer to represent us. thank you for you time. v/r Monika

1
Comment #21 by RIFSLAW (anonymous) posted on
RIFSLAW
Monika, I suggest you contact the State or local Bar Association in the area where the properties are located and ask for a referral for a consumer lawyer. Good luck. 

1
Comment #22 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I have had 2 closing dates with the buyer of my home using Wells Fargo VA loan.  The buyer and myself signed an Offer to Purchase on 11/16 with a closing date of 12/1 which did not happen due to Wells Fargo loan department/their appraiser delays.  The next date was 1/20 ( which is on a Sunday) and that time has come and gone.  Now the loan officer from Wells Fargo, NC bank,  states he never agreed to a closing date ( which is clearly on the paperwork) The delays are unacceptable business practice and shows lack of caring for either parties involved. My suggestion ( since it seems nothing is going to happen even after posting this message) Do Not Use Wells Fargo for any loans if it is going to take 3 months to close. Again bad business practice.

1
Comment #26 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I applied for a loan modification with Wells Fargo eight months ago.  That was prior to having difficulty in paying the mortgage.  My payment went up $300 and I have come to the point where I can't make the payments.  Today, I was told they closed my file due to not being able to read the IRS stamp on my tax return that I faxed to them 6 times.  They said that if I want mortgage assistance I need to start all over.  I am furious!

1
Comment #23 by Lee D (anonymous) posted on
Lee D
Thansk for this info.

I've been the victim of serious bank fraud.
After opening an new account with Wells Fargo I recieved an ATM card but never got the pin code mailer.

Somebody must have intercepted it, created a bogus card and they wiped out my account.
I filed a fraud report and after a 30 day investigation Wells Fargo told me they basically think I did it and they won't reimburse my money.


It's totally insane and outragous....I'm getting a lawyer.

 

1
Comment #24 by Manju (anonymous) posted on
Manju
I transferred 3 lakh rupees from icici savings bank account to icici b2b account on 22nd march. The money was debited instantly and i recieved an sms saying the money is debited. but the transaction status shows failed and also the amount is not created to my b2b account. I called the customer care and reported the issue. They said they are working on that but did not create a service request so there is no id for me to track my request. After 3 days today i called them up and they are saying that they need to check with the back end team to find out if it is the problem with their application.

Where can i raise a complaint against this ?

1
Comment #25 by Shubham Bhandari (anonymous) posted on
Shubham Bhandari
Union Bank doesnt gives a good service, even Managers dont have any ethics, irrespectful members specially of Union Bank Of Nanded, Branch FarandyNagar, Nanded.

1