We can all rest easier tonight. Financial reform is beginning to take hold. How, you ask? Some banks are not allowing full-timers to open savings accounts. That’s right – those rogue travelers who cannot produce utility bills for a permanent residence might not be allowed to bank their money.
At least this was our recent experience with Capital One Bank. We read advertisements for superior interest rates on savings at Capital One. E-Trade, our former savings bank, was shuttering the savings business. We applied for a Capital One savings account on-line and were accepted to the point that they accepted an initial deposit of $25K. However, they needed to verify some information before authorizing the account so that we could access it on-line.
When we called to find out what was needed, they asked that we fax them a copy of our driver’s license, social security card and a copy of a utility bill (no cell phone or internet bills allowed). Since we could not produce a utility bill, we asked if there was an alternative. The customer service person we spoke with transferred us to the verification department for further assistance. At this point, Judith informed us their policy was to allow only people with permanent residences to have accounts. Huh?
They had already accepted our initial deposit but we could not convince her to complete the verification process. Their reply was, “No exceptions – no account without a permanent residence.” We could understand if we were trying to borrow money, but we wanted to GIVE THEM OUR MONEY!
They said their only option was to close the account and return our money. And they only would send a check by snail mail if we could complete their verbal verification process successfully. Judith then proceeded to ask a series of questions that only could have been derived from our credit report (we’re sure of this as it included a question about an ex’s age).
Thankfully, we answered the questions to her satisfaction. She said that they would cut the check within ten days. It would then take another two to three weeks to catch up with us via our mail service (we do all our banking on-line to avoid just this sort of delay).
So much for trying to chase an interest rate of 1.45% that beats the 0.1% we get with either of our current banks. We’ve decided it’s not worth the trouble to find another high-yielding account for our savings and will just settle for the 0.1%.
We have finally encountered first-hand a disadvantage of full-timing – limitations on banking access. However, we feel better just knowing at least one of the banks is being so vigilant in not allowing just anybody to deposit money in their banks.
How is this making our national economy more secure? We didn’t want to borrow, we only wanted to give them money.