Inner city Banking experience at WoodForest National Bank/ other Financial Institutions
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On June 5, 2017, through no fault of my own, I lost a large sum of money from my account via WoodForest National Bank. Since I am not a member of this Bank, I was told to file a dispute with my own financial institution, which I did. I learned from my bank that getting this money back into my account could take up to 45 days. At which time I became livid about the process. Think of this latter scenario, could you avoid a financial hardship, if your money was potentially tied up for 45 days.
Now, I realize that this is a societal issue. Financial institutions have the tools to expedite this process- simply by utilizing some of the same tools that are used when crimes are committed against the banks. One of the first things they rely on is surveillance cameras. If one robs a bank, ATM machine and/or commit a crime via money transfer, their image would be reviewed within milliseconds.
Why not use this same tool when it reasonable and when the facts support doing so. I think that the policy needs to change for two reasons:
1) Financial Institutions need to eliminate downplaying these issues and passing the buck. They need to be accountable to all customers, whether you have $100 or 100 million dollars in your account or whether you live in Bankhead or Buckhead. Erasing the Banking stigma that comes with inner city customers (where bank employees, from Bank Tellers to Upper Management) has to change. Regurgitating a policy bank employees learned during the Orientation, turning a deaf ear or exhibiting an emotionally deficit demeanor doesn't work. If my account reap plenty of zeros behind a whole number like 2 million, I'd been afforded the opportunity to sit down in the bank and enjoy coffee and donuts while "we resolve this matter" aka "put your money back into your account"
2) Banks should legally operate with the same urgency as that do when it has been robbed.
Since, I believe this issue is a much larger issue that impact communities as a whole; I am going to reach out to a local investigative reporter to attempt to determine how much banks profit annually off citizens misfortune. If my lost was $10, I probably would not go through the long drawn out process- I would probably count the $10 as a lost, rather than fight with any financial institution for 45 days. But what if the latter became reality for one million people, then in retrospect, the bank just collected millions of dollars by simply deciding that the consumer did not show good cause to get his or her money back and the bank made no attempt to assist.
I've reached of to the Department of Treasury as well as the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to address this issue and to advocate for change. I need your signature to assist me in changing the way that financial institutions and their stakeholders address our concerns.
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