After more than 30 years as a customer of NCNB, Nationsbank, and now Bank of America, I began the arduous process of closing my accounts today. I say "arduous" because I have a host of automatic transfers and payments, plus a fully loaded online banking profile with more than 50 companies, individuals, and non-profit organizations listed in bill-pay. Switching banks is a total pain in the ass.
To put this change in perspective, I have generally not been unhappy with the service I've received from Bank of America over the years. In fact, it's been surprisingly good. I almost never pay fees, owing to a very high average balance in interest checking. And my local branch always responds to my calls, probably for the same reason. I am one of their private banking customers, and they have treated me well. But my being treated well as an individual comes nowhere near counter-balancing the assaults this institution has made on average Americans and on society in general. Whether it is through their incompetence or malice, I have come to see Bank of America as a predator, led in the marketplace by one of the most obnoxious CEOs I have ever encountered. Every time I read a report about him, it's clear that Brian Moynihan is a jerk, pure and simple. I will no longer tolerate even a distant association with him.
I know Mr. Moynihan and his C-suite colleagues won't care that they lost another valued customer. But maybe if a million other valued customers close their accounts, they'll finally get the point that the free market cuts both ways. Behave like an arrogant asshole and you'll eventually pay the price.
Over the weeks ahead, I will document the trials and tribulations of switching from Bank of America to the NC State Employees Credit Union, where I opened new accounts this very day. Wish me luck.