DATA SECURITY BREACH: NO DATA SECURITY AND INACCURATE CREDIT REPORTING
Georgia Banking Company’s poorly managed data security resulted in my credit information being compromised by a phishing attack.
Additionally, I have been a victim of their inaccurate credit reporting. They inaccurately reported me 30 days late despite recognizing that I submitted my payment prior to the 30 day mark.
I recommend that you take your business to a better equipped financial institution that will take your personal information and credit history seriously.
After reading positive reviews, I decided to give Georgia Banking Company a try.
Online application does not allow wire funding. I chose deposit in person even though I am on the West Coast.
Wish online application asks for copy of driver license and proof of address up front to save time.
Called in and was given an individual's name and her direct line. She followed through every step of the way. Very impressed!
Definitely recommend Georgia Banking Company.
After reading some of the reviews, it seems like some people just like to complain to complain. I’ve been with GBC for over 3 years now and haven’t had any issues. Great people and a great local bank. Sure their technology isn’t the greatest thing out there, but it gets the job done. That’s the trade off between banking with a large institution and a community bank. Keep up the great work team GBC.
Late one Friday afternoon I attempted to access my account. I was locked out because evidently I'm supposed to login at least once per month. I only have a CD! I called for support at 2:30 my time, but as I am on the west coast, GBC was already closed FOR THE WEEKEND! I went to the GBC website - no tech support number! At this point i really started questioning why I opened a CD at this bank. I was actually a little worried. I deal with at least 12 banks at any given time (it's a hobby) and I've never run into this lack of online customer service. What if I'd had a checking or savings account and absolutely needed to do a transfer?
After calling at opening time Monday morning, their message stating they were closed was running until 10 minutes past their opening time. Finally got through to Brenda D. The only bright spot in the whole experience. She was empathetic and really understood the problem. I emphasized that if I was local and had a checking or savings account with GBC, I'd be gone that afternoon.
I understand they're a small, relatively young bank, but they need to get into the 21st century. I buy CDs all over the country, but will not consider them again unless these problems are worked out.
Aug 12, despite what robot displays.
This is a note of appreciation for the ethical integrity of the bankers at GBC. I had 100K cash that I was planning to put into a 2-year CD sometime in mid-August. But as everyone will recall, the stock market was crashing on Monday/Tuesday Aug 5-6, and the flight to safety caused bond rates and CD rates to drop like a rock. GBC had the best rate for 2-year CD, at 2.80% APY on Monday. I already had a CD there from 3 months ago, and a money market account. See my comment from May 23. So on Monday 8/05 I phoned them. CSR said yes, I could send them the 100K by ACH to the MM acct and they would set up the CD; that way there would be no delay for online application, verification, etc. I immediately sent the 100K, and saw that it had arrived in the MM acct on Tuesday. The CD rate was still 2.80% APY. But on Wed my new CD still had not shown up on their website, and their rate on the CD had now dropped to 2.60% APY. Yikes! And on Thursday still no CD showing up on the website. I was worried they might be delaying issuing the CD in order to give me the new lower rate. But no, they are simply slow in doing paperwork and updating their website -- maybe too much work for too small crew. In the end I got the 2.80% APY, dated for Tuesday 8/06 as promised. This is a bank whose officers still maintain the good old-fashioned Southern honor and ethics. I'll not be sending them any more money, maybe for 2 years, because it's already deployed elsewhere. But I just wanted to give praise where praise is definitely due. And by the way, they now have a toll-free phone number after I complained 3 months ago on this blog; so they do listen and make improvements.
You can ACH your funds in, but you can't ACH them out...this has been noted in reviews on this site of other minor institutions.
Please note that these comments relate to my experience in opening an online CD with no other relationship with this bank. Many comments on this site mention very helpful customer service, so I called ahead to get answers to some common questions before starting an application. I learned two interesting things:
1) Fund from a maturing CD will not be returned by ACH. They will be sent by check (read delay in access to funds). I decided to put up with this, since market interest rates are falling and I wanted to get funds on deposit...I have exceeded the FDIC limits at the other higher rate-paying, sophisticated, banks.
2) There is no application impediment arising from having a freeze on one's credit reports, as I do, unless one is applying for a debit card.
Other than that, my phone call did not prepare me for the unconventional application process that GBC uses (compared with the several online CDs I have opened at other internet oriented banks). I will attempt to describe the process in case that is useful for other (out-of-state) internet CD customers.
First, I was impressed by the initial online application experience, as the software was sophisticated and operated smoothly. It included some authentication type questions, apparently drawn from my credit (or similar) records immediately available to them online during the application process. That ended with a message that I would be contacted in one or two days (it was 2) if further information was required. In fact they called me on the telephone (luckily I was home as I gave them my land line #). I was informed that I would be soon receiving an email requiring application information to be signed by some sort of electronic signature software they apparently have licensed and included additional questions apparently designed for a more generic banking application process, like asking what range of funds I anticipated wiring on a a weekly basis?? (where as the initial application seem properly designed for a CD customer). I got the impression that this step was routinely required, not an "additional" step arising from review of my application.
This phase ended with another indication that the information would be reviewed and I would be contacted. Again 2 business days later I received a phone call that my CD was approved and I could view it online in about an hour. I shortly received an email confirming this information.
I mention the phone calls because they seem like an unnecessary step, as I am use to going through the entire process (at other banks) using email.
Apparently, GBC does NOT use the test deposit routine that most institutions use, so that was not a delay from application to funding, but the two step application process, with delays in response at each step, resulted in what felt like a slow and unnecessarily slow process. I noticed that my bank (funding) account showed the amount of the CD was deducted on the morning of the day that I received the phone call that my CD application had been approved, so luckily I had already moved the necessary funds. The test deposit routine has the advantage of being able to control the funding timing. If the funds are not yet available in the designated funding account, you just delay reporting the test deposit amounts until the funds are available.
UPDATE UPON CD MATURITY, GETTING MY FUNDS BACK
I did not follow hugosalinas suggestion (below) to open a transaction account just to get my CD proceeds by ACH, as I only had one CD with GBC (apparently their rate leadership was short lived) and there is another fee for closing an account within 90 days. Since rates have fallen so low, it seemed cost efficient to have the check mailed to me (cross country). What ensued was a comedy of errors on GBC's part. They wanted an image of signed letter authorizing the withdrawal sent to them by email. I did so and after about an hour called to request some confirmation of receipt and in good order. Got voice mail. Never received confirmation, but I could see online they had removed the funds from my account. From that date, it was a TWO weeks and a day before I received my funds (Memorial Day intervened). The check was eventually sent by FedEx. On the Positive side, they included a letter explaining how they screwed up, on the negative side, I went two weeks without compensation on these funds.
This bank may be OK for locals who can walk in to a branch and look 'em in the eye, but pretty flaky outfit for internet banking.
I love the service that I receive from my Bank and Banker, Chris McNeil. He exemplifies the true meaning of customer service. From the time that I opened all of my accounts to today, Chris has always stayed in touch and made sure that I continue to get the care and service that I expect from my Bank.
I'm surprised this wonderful Atlanta-based bank doesn't get more love. They just dropped their 5-year CD rate by 30 bps, but at 3.5%, they were among the very best, with a low 180 day EWP. The rates still aren't bad. Extremely nice, personal service.