Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Why Does It Have To Be This Difficult?

For the past several years I've purchased a savings bond and some stock for my son for his birthday and for Christmas.

Perhaps a year ago the Bureau of the Public Debt stopped issuing paper savings bonds; new bonds are now just electrons on a computer somewhere.  I decided to stop purchasing bonds and put that additional money towards stocks.

I bank with Major California Bank.  It used to be that I could go online, transfer money from my account to my son's savings account, and then transfer that same sum from his savings account to his brokerage account, from which I would purchase stock.  Then, a couple years ago, they put a new hitch in the process--I couldn't transfer the money from his savings to his brokerage account online, I had to call them and they would conduct that transfer.  Odd and inefficient, but not exceedingly difficult.

My son's birthday is coming up so yesterday I called MCB to transfer the money to his brokerage account.  They said they couldn't do that, the accounts aren't the "right type".  After much discussion, I was able to understand their bottom line--due to types of accounts my son's accounts are, as well as the types mine are, there is no possible way at this time to put money into his brokerage account.  At all.  It would take both of us going into a branch and filling out a form in order to turn his savings account into the type that would then allow us to transfer money from there into his brokerage account.

MCB was kind enough to email me this form in response to my complaint, but they didn't answer my question:  what has changed, and why?  Why can I no longer do what I used to be able to do?  Why is there no way to put money into his brokerage account today?

So now it's no savings bonds or stock.  Silver prices have plummeted recently, I think I'll go spend that money on silver bullion.

Update, 7/11/13:  After a couple emails with the bank I've learned that it *isn't* a new law mandating this, it's the bank's own "compliance department".   Attorneys sit around just thinking up crap like this.


MikeAT said...


I don't know if the rep from what was then the National Bank of Ft Sam Houston hit up you guys at West Point In my last semester one came by and convinced a few of us (me included) to set up our account with them. And they were really set up for guys all over the country and world. If I needed a loan I could call and after 5 minutes on the phone I'd hear "Everything is set sir, we'll put the money in your account this afternoon and I'll mail you the paperwork. Just sign it and return it." Very convenient.

Should have know that wouldn't last.

NBFSU got bought out by Nations Bank which became Bank of America. Now every now and then I'd need a loan and I needed one. I called the loan department and they said "Sorry, we don't make personal loans anymore...only auto and mortgages..." I was incredulous and asked "This is a bank, don't you make your money from loan interest...." and the lady said the bank was reevaluating it's loan policy. Well I was able to get the loan I needed from USAA but that still pissed me off.

Well, fast forward to 2009 and again I need a temp loan, I call and I get the same story. They will not make a personal loan or a loan against my CDs, "that's our policy..." So I told her "Well my policy is you obviously don't need my money" and I started to close my accounts.

BA, remember the basics.

Anonymous said...

"I bank with Major California Bank."

Why this instead of a credit union?

-Mark R.

Darren said...

I like being able to get my money in a multi-state area without paying fees or having to look very hard for the bank. I do have accounts with 2 credit unions, though, but those are very specific accounts.

My guess is that some silly law changed and I'd have to go through the same hassle with Minor Credit Union.

Steve USMA '85 said...

Have you looked into USAA Federal Savings Bank? One of the great features is that I can use any ATM anywhere and USAA not only doesn't charge an out-of-network fee, but they also reimburse whatever the ATM charges me, up to $15/month.