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FNBO Direct Savings Account Update - Withdrawing Money


Except for that mistaken account hold email, I've been fortunate not to have any problems with FNBO Direct. However, many people have had problems. Several readers have reported receiving requests for employment history with threats of account holds. In addition, some readers have reported that a hold had been placed on their accounts. Holds were released after FNBO received the info. Apparently, FNBO is claiming that the employment history is required by Nebraska law to comply with the Patriot Act. Even if this is true, they seem to be too cavalier regarding account holds. Also, as several readers have pointed out, requesting this type of info from unsecure email is not a good policy. Even though the requested info is only employment history and not account numbers or social security numbers, it's better if this correspondence is done through a secure online messaging system.

With the promotion period nearing an end and with the above concerns, FNBO Direct withdrawals will likely be on people's minds. So I decided to do some more tests. So far I've been able to transfer some money out of my FNBO Direct account without problems. Instead of initiating a withdrawal from inside FNBO Direct, I initiated it from my GMAC Bank account. With FNBO Direct threatening people with account holds, I wanted to make sure that debits initiated from another bank wouldn't cause an issue. So I asked FNBO about this via their message form. After about 5 days of waiting, I finally received their response by email saying that I am "able to do such transactions."

I am happy to report that the transfer that I initiated from my GMAC Bank account went through okay and without any apparent loss of interest. I initiated the request on Sunday morning (8/19). The money was listed as debited from my FNBO Direct account on Tuesday (8/21) and it showed up as credited to my GMAC account on Tuesday (8/21).

So initiating withdraws from a bank like GMAC seems to be the best way. Note, these withdrawals would count the same as those initiated at FNBO for the 6 per month withdrawal limit.

In my last FNBO survey, 51% of the 353 people who responded claimed to have received an employment history request from FNBO Direct. The survey started before that email mistake. So some people could have included this mistake email in their vote. But even before that mistake email, many people had voted that they had received these employment request emails.

A reader in my last FNBO post asked if I could do another poll about who is withdrawing money and how much is being withdrawn. So here it is. Based on your maximum balance that you had with FNBO Direct, how much of that have you withdrawn?

To view the results without voting, here's the link to the results.

In my poll questions, I consider "withdrawan all or almost all" as someone who may have left a few dollars in the account. For "no significant withdrawals done", I would consider this if you've only done a couple of small test withdrawals to get a feel of the transfer process.

For a summary of the FNBO Direct savings account and the 6% promotion, please see my FNBO Direct account overview or for all of my previous FNBO Direct posts, please see this page.

Related Pages: FNBO Direct, savings account

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Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
Like The Banking Guy, I used GMAC to pull my money out of FNBO. It worked without a hitch. I initiated the pull on a Monday morning and the money was at GMAC by Tuesday morning.

Memo to FNBO--that's the way to do a transfer.

Once the interest posts at the end of the week, the rest comes out and FNBO becomes nothing more that a rotten memory. That'll teach me to rate chase.

As a point of reference--Amboy's transfers are just as fast although the hold time is a bit longer and the rate is not quite as high.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
Employment history is not a reason to put hold on an account. Requesting such info is voluntary and has nothing to do with income source with the account at FNBO.

If I open or deposit money at FNBO from a savings account and I was unemployed at the moment of opening the account, FNBO would flag such customer as questionable?

This is not right way to comply with the Patriot Act either. If I inherit $x amount of money and the bank can not trace it to the source, I'm criminal in the eyes of FNBO.

If I sell stocks, bonds, properties etc., untraceable to employment source, I'm criminal according to FNBO.

State law is trumped by Federal law and customers out of Nebraska are exempt from state ordinance and can not be forced to comply.

FNBO has right to close such accounts and return the money to the depositor, but can not put hold or treat the customers as criminals.

FNBO knows all of that, but
chose to harass the customers with e-mails for
reason unknown to us.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #3
I agree with the previous post. FNBO should have not open the account if the info
provided by the customer at the moment of opening was not
good enough to them.

After the account is open employment history is irrelevant.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #4
What's next from FNBO, prove your
money is yours or we will keep it.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #5
In addition to all this crap FNBO did with the patriot act, they also will **** you with wire transfers. They will only allow a wire transfer to the initial funding account. They say it is to protect your security, but we all know it is just a way for them to keep your money and surprise you yet again. I have to say that this is the most unethical bank I have ever dealt with. Well they might have ****ed me out of a few dollars, but me and my auto dialer with farting noises have gotten the last laugh.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6
Am I the only one who thinks it is funny that to them a "Hold" means you can't transfer money out but you can transfer in as much money as you want?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #7
Actually, I had my account on hold also. And they wouldn't let me transfer money in (well, they wouldn't let my direct deposit go through).

Anyway, I transfer a significant amount of money out without any problems (to put into the TechCU CD account. :)
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #8
Just seconding what was noted by 8:46 and others -- the "NB" in FNBO stands for National Bank, as in the state banking agency is irrelevant. Although my experience with them closely tracks B.G.'s, my overall impression is that they're bush league mediocre on their best days, and downright moronic on their worst. Vaya con dios, FNBO.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #9
If you have over 100k, it may be worth it to pay the wire fee and just do a wire transfer. You don't lose any interest that way and it is more or less pain free. Try to get your wire request into them in the morning.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #10
I did withdraw my complete balance (except $1.54) but it took me several actions because there is a limit of $100K at a time withdrawal and then a wait of close to a week before they allow another action. I started withdrawing the first of August because I wanted to place the funds in NAVY's 6% 10 MO CD which was to close 8/31, to my surprise they closed the offer early but I managed to make the deadline. FNBO was a pain but their rate was good and I made money so I won't complain.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #11
I'm not surprised at all after reading all these, that
FNBO using the cover of the Patriot Act can force us to comply to something or else we will be reported to "Secret Service" to proof whereabout of our money.
Shame on you FNBA.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #12
Given all that has transpired, it's pretty obvious there's at least one person in FNBO Direct's management who got some stuff wrong and simply needs to be fired. The ****-covering story about Nebraska law would be funny if not so pathetic and obviously erroneous. This apparently is a bank that would rather **** off (and **** on) their customers rather than fire that employee. So be it. They can have my dollar. To hell with 'em! BTW, if you have funds still remaining in FNBO, well, good luck. But IMHO you are making a mistake. This bank is kooky and, worse, unpredictable.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #13
Can really anybody prove how the money got accumulated as of today.
I for example have money in my saving account at FNBO from:
Sales of real estate, ebay auctions, inheritance, payroll, gifts from parents, sales of my boat, RV, cars, computers, artifacts, used items of all kinds, also interests from other savings accounts, part of my wife salaries,
etc.. and all going back 20-30 years.

I for one, can not proof anything going back more than six months to a year and that is all. Whether I'm
employed or not is nobody business.

Everybody's life style is different
so FNBO will never get my employment history...period. I wrote them and ask for the part of
Patriot Act where it says about
employment as condition to open saving account.....32 days past by and I have not heard from FNBO a word yet back.

Fight back for your rights or perish without voice. I will not let be intimidated by a Bank.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #14
I too find FNBO's outgoing wire policy extremely inconvenient. No other bank in the world imposes a single recipient for wire transfers.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #15
got the employment history email. actually provided info. was out of town for a couple of days. when I came back, I found my FNBO account had been closed. I did not request the account to be closed. I was not warned that the account would be closed. I was not notified that the account had been closed. I am in the process of filing a complaint with the Office of the Comptroller of Currency. If people are interested, I will post what, if anything, results. At least my money is safe. No more threats.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #16
I am out of FNBO as of last week ($1 balance for both my individual and joint accounts).

Good luck, folks, coming September.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #17
I want to take just a moment here to agree with something written by an earlier poster. She/he wrote a lot of stuff, but one thing stands out to me. I think this deserves emphasis: FBNO is unpredictable. Their policies and their actions are unpredictable. There are many attributes we all want in our bank(s). Unpredictability is not one of these attributes; not with money on the line. Enough said.
David (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #18
Do what I did, and log on to GMAC on a Thursday, schedule your pull from FNBO and it will arrive at GMAC on Friday and be deducted from FNBO on Monday, giving you 3 days of double interest. Better than a wire transfer as you make money doing it this way. It just so happens that 9/27 is a Thursday and would be an ideal time to make the transfer. Heck maybe even the Thursday before so the double interest is likely to count more. :)
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #19
FYI - I sent a secure email to support asking what the rate after 9/28 would be and/or when they would announce it.


Thank you for contacting FNBO Direct regarding your account. The interest rate will be variable based ont he Bank's discretion. The rate will change based on the current market conditions.

Unfortunately, we do not have an estimated time as to when notification of the new interest rate will be available to our customers.

I apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause.


So, I'm definitely thinking about moving by mid-Sept (I don't think we can trust them to even end up at say 5%)
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #20
With a probable rate cut coming out of the September Fed meeting, the timing for a post-September 28 drop to 5% (or lower) is just too perfect.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #21
Is there a limit of 100k on withdrawals if initiated from another bank (like GMAC)?
Steven from CA
Steven from CA (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #22
Here's what I've discovered trying to remove $3oo,ooo plus from FNBO:
FNBO enforces the $100,000/day transfer limit even if you initiate the transfer from an outside institution. They won't even let you request a wire transfer for more than $100,000 - and you are not allowed to wire to an institution that is not: 1) one of your linked external accounts, and 2) an account that the "majority of funds originated from". They won't even let me wire to an account that is linked, because it wasn't one of my original funding accounts. They are so very far from working under standard, acceptable banking procedures - what kind of wacko people are running that place? Also, they have no way to do an immediate, internal transfer between my two FNBO accounts - they said I'd have to use the external ACH system, so you'd be out some days of interest just trying to transfer money between your different FNBO accounts. Too strange for me.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #23
Here's what I received per email from FNBO:

"Beginning September 29, 2007, FNBO Direct is happy to announce that we are offering one of the highest rates in the nation: 5.05% APY"