• Report: #255403

Complaint Review: Compass Bank

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  • Submitted: Tue, June 19, 2007
  • Updated: Mon, May 26, 2008

  • Reported By:mobile Alabama
Compass Bank
321 Bel Air Boulevard Mobile, Alabama U.S.A.
  • Phone: 251-470-7306
  • Web:
  • Category: Banks

Compass Bank $5 Check Cashing Scam ripoff Mobile Alabama

*Consumer Comment: Said it before and I'll say it again...

*Consumer Comment: Warning to others: they have raised these fees.

*Consumer Comment: Times change (sigh)

*Consumer Comment: Times change (sigh)

*Consumer Comment: Times change (sigh)

*Consumer Comment: Times change (sigh)

*Consumer Comment: I work for Sovereign Bank...

*Consumer Comment: "Name a Bank that doesnt charge non customers..."

*Consumer Comment: "Name a Bank that doesnt charge non customers..."

*Consumer Comment: "Name a Bank that doesnt charge non customers..."

*Consumer Comment: "Name a Bank that doesnt charge non customers..."

*Consumer Suggestion: here's the link:

*Consumer Suggestion: here's the link:

*Consumer Suggestion: here's the link:

*Consumer Suggestion: here's the link:

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Are you serious??

*Consumer Comment: Similar experience

*Consumer Comment: Check cashing fees

*Consumer Comment: Its not Illegal...

*Consumer Comment: Its not Illegal...

*Consumer Comment: Its not Illegal...

*Consumer Comment: Its not Illegal...

*Consumer Comment: I want to see this so called federal law....

*Consumer Suggestion: Gee, thanks Jodi.

*Consumer Comment: Robert from Bufalo is correct!

*Consumer Comment: All banks charge this fee, it's not a scam

*Consumer Comment: Name a Bank that doesnt charge non customers...

*Consumer Comment: They are not allowed to do that!

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I received a check from a Compass Bank customer. I was near a Compass Bank branch, so I thought it would be convenient to cash the check at the customer's own bank. The check was for $100. When the teller sent the money back in the tube I noticed it was only $95. WHAT? That's 5%.

Well, needless to say I was angry. There were no signs alerting me of the $5 "nickle and dime" scam that Compass has instituted. I pushed the call button and told the teller to either give me my missing $5 or give the check back.

After a couple of other grunts wandered around the lobby looking for someone to approve or disapprove my request they finally opted to make an exception and give me the $5. I told them I wanted the check back instead. They obliged. I certainly hope that employees of company's don't have to go thru this if they are not Compass Bank "customers". I'll just get it cashed at my own bank for FREE. It still has to go thru Compass Bank at some point.

I understand the need for a company to make money, but come on people! After all the fingerprinting, manager calls, and my check going back and forth thru the tube, it was about 20 minutes of their time. Not to mention the extra time of cancelling the transaction, etc. If someone writes you a check on a Compass Bank account and you plan to go to their bank to cash it, have them add the fees that Compass charges. Then their own customers will start complaining about this issue.

Jim
mobile, Alabama
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/19/2007 08:59 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Compass-Bank/Mobile-Alabama/Compass-Bank-5-Check-Cashing-Scam-ripoff-Mobile-Alabama-255403. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Said it before and I'll say it again...

AUTHOR: La_ee - (U.S.A.)

Compass Bank is LOWER than the bottom of the barrel.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Warning to others: they have raised these fees.

AUTHOR: Navkat - (U.S.A.)

This is not a rebuttal, so much as a validation and warning.

I walked into my Compass branch today in Mobile, AL and there were signs everywhere notifying customers that they have raised these fees.

It will now cost you $10.00 to cash a Compass Bank check if you do not hold an account with them for anything between $50.00 -$250.00

Fees for a check exceeding $250.00 were not posted. I am assuming they are more.

My advice: deposit the check into your own account and wait the umpteen days to have it clear. It's worth not being charged 20%.

Sooner or later, people will stop accepting Compass Bank checks and sooner or later, people will stop banking there.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Times change (sigh)

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

I stand corrected (sigh.) What's that old saying "Beware the money lenders?"

I was wrong - the rules have changed. Back in 1979 when I was getting help from Consumer Credit Counselors of Sacramento, it WAS ILLEGAL for the banks to charge a fee for cashing any check that was drawn against them.

Not any more. I don't know when the rules were changed, but obviously they were.

Oh, and Key Bank? Around here they DO charge a fee to non-account holders. Several weeks ago, the branch at the corner of Hertel and Delaware had notices taped up at the teller counters notifying the public that they increased the fee.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Times change (sigh)

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

I stand corrected (sigh.) What's that old saying "Beware the money lenders?"

I was wrong - the rules have changed. Back in 1979 when I was getting help from Consumer Credit Counselors of Sacramento, it WAS ILLEGAL for the banks to charge a fee for cashing any check that was drawn against them.

Not any more. I don't know when the rules were changed, but obviously they were.

Oh, and Key Bank? Around here they DO charge a fee to non-account holders. Several weeks ago, the branch at the corner of Hertel and Delaware had notices taped up at the teller counters notifying the public that they increased the fee.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Times change (sigh)

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

I stand corrected (sigh.) What's that old saying "Beware the money lenders?"

I was wrong - the rules have changed. Back in 1979 when I was getting help from Consumer Credit Counselors of Sacramento, it WAS ILLEGAL for the banks to charge a fee for cashing any check that was drawn against them.

Not any more. I don't know when the rules were changed, but obviously they were.

Oh, and Key Bank? Around here they DO charge a fee to non-account holders. Several weeks ago, the branch at the corner of Hertel and Delaware had notices taped up at the teller counters notifying the public that they increased the fee.
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#6 Consumer Comment

Times change (sigh)

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

I stand corrected (sigh.) What's that old saying "Beware the money lenders?"

I was wrong - the rules have changed. Back in 1979 when I was getting help from Consumer Credit Counselors of Sacramento, it WAS ILLEGAL for the banks to charge a fee for cashing any check that was drawn against them.

Not any more. I don't know when the rules were changed, but obviously they were.

Oh, and Key Bank? Around here they DO charge a fee to non-account holders. Several weeks ago, the branch at the corner of Hertel and Delaware had notices taped up at the teller counters notifying the public that they increased the fee.
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#7 Consumer Comment

I work for Sovereign Bank...

AUTHOR: Jeff - (U.S.A.)

...and they also do not charge a fee for a non-customer cashing checks.

A primary function of any branch, yet alone an entire bank, is to collect what's called fee income. These fees may include overdraft fees, returned item fees, money order/official check fees and, in obviously some banks' case, check-cashing fees. Call it a bias on my part (because since I work for the bank I get charged nothing for any type of transaction), but it is important for banks to chage fees to customers and non-customers alike. I do understand completely where some people, probably most people for that matter, would get frustrated by this.

Oh any by the way, this is straight from the fdic website:

Check Cashing. There is no Federal banking law that prohibits banks from cashing checks of non-customers. As defined in the Customer Identification Program Rule (CIP Rule), check cashing by itself is not the opening of an account and therefore, the CIP Rule does not apply if all the customer does is cash a check, one time or many times. It is left up to individual banks to establish their own policies and procedures on check cashing services for customers and non-customers.

So if a bank wanted to charge 5 dollars, 10 dollars or even 20 it looks like they have the right to do so.
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#8 Consumer Comment

"Name a Bank that doesnt charge non customers..."

AUTHOR: Reality Check - (U.S.A.)

I'll name you five (5):

Key Bank

Harris Bank

National City Bank

Bank of America

Chase

I have taken checks into each, ranging from $100-5000, and NEVER been charged a fee. I have cashed checks in the branch and at the window...no problem whatsoever. I even tell them that I bank with ING Direct because ING pays me interest and cash back on my Electric Orange CHECKING account...yet they still cash my check, free of charge.

If banks ARE charging this fee, it is out of their own greed, not the "need" to charge it. They pay tellers hourly whether I bring that check into the bank or not, so before some jackass starts blathering on about how that person is taking time away from "real" customers, stow the nonsense because it doesn't fly here.
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#9 Consumer Comment

"Name a Bank that doesnt charge non customers..."

AUTHOR: Reality Check - (U.S.A.)

I'll name you five (5):

Key Bank

Harris Bank

National City Bank

Bank of America

Chase

I have taken checks into each, ranging from $100-5000, and NEVER been charged a fee. I have cashed checks in the branch and at the window...no problem whatsoever. I even tell them that I bank with ING Direct because ING pays me interest and cash back on my Electric Orange CHECKING account...yet they still cash my check, free of charge.

If banks ARE charging this fee, it is out of their own greed, not the "need" to charge it. They pay tellers hourly whether I bring that check into the bank or not, so before some jackass starts blathering on about how that person is taking time away from "real" customers, stow the nonsense because it doesn't fly here.
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#10 Consumer Comment

"Name a Bank that doesnt charge non customers..."

AUTHOR: Reality Check - (U.S.A.)

I'll name you five (5):

Key Bank

Harris Bank

National City Bank

Bank of America

Chase

I have taken checks into each, ranging from $100-5000, and NEVER been charged a fee. I have cashed checks in the branch and at the window...no problem whatsoever. I even tell them that I bank with ING Direct because ING pays me interest and cash back on my Electric Orange CHECKING account...yet they still cash my check, free of charge.

If banks ARE charging this fee, it is out of their own greed, not the "need" to charge it. They pay tellers hourly whether I bring that check into the bank or not, so before some jackass starts blathering on about how that person is taking time away from "real" customers, stow the nonsense because it doesn't fly here.
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#11 Consumer Comment

"Name a Bank that doesnt charge non customers..."

AUTHOR: Reality Check - (U.S.A.)

I'll name you five (5):

Key Bank

Harris Bank

National City Bank

Bank of America

Chase

I have taken checks into each, ranging from $100-5000, and NEVER been charged a fee. I have cashed checks in the branch and at the window...no problem whatsoever. I even tell them that I bank with ING Direct because ING pays me interest and cash back on my Electric Orange CHECKING account...yet they still cash my check, free of charge.

If banks ARE charging this fee, it is out of their own greed, not the "need" to charge it. They pay tellers hourly whether I bring that check into the bank or not, so before some jackass starts blathering on about how that person is taking time away from "real" customers, stow the nonsense because it doesn't fly here.
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#12 Consumer Suggestion

here's the link:

AUTHOR: Chuck - (U.S.A.)

fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news/sum99cn/&answers.html

Cashing Checks
I just went to a bank to cash my paycheck, which is drawn on that bank. But because I didn't have an account there, the bank wanted to charge me a service fee. Isn't a bank required to honor its checks?

Financial institutions are not prohibited by state or federal law from having different rules for non-customers. So, despite the fact that the check was drawn on that bank, it legally can impose a fee for cashing one of its checks for a non-customer. Had you instead deposited the check at your own bank, you would not have been charged a fee. Why? "Because financial institutions do not charge each other for checks presented through the normal clearing process," says FDIC Washington-based attorney Robert Patrick.
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#13 Consumer Suggestion

here's the link:

AUTHOR: Chuck - (U.S.A.)

fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news/sum99cn/&answers.html

Cashing Checks
I just went to a bank to cash my paycheck, which is drawn on that bank. But because I didn't have an account there, the bank wanted to charge me a service fee. Isn't a bank required to honor its checks?

Financial institutions are not prohibited by state or federal law from having different rules for non-customers. So, despite the fact that the check was drawn on that bank, it legally can impose a fee for cashing one of its checks for a non-customer. Had you instead deposited the check at your own bank, you would not have been charged a fee. Why? "Because financial institutions do not charge each other for checks presented through the normal clearing process," says FDIC Washington-based attorney Robert Patrick.
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#14 Consumer Suggestion

here's the link:

AUTHOR: Chuck - (U.S.A.)

fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news/sum99cn/&answers.html

Cashing Checks
I just went to a bank to cash my paycheck, which is drawn on that bank. But because I didn't have an account there, the bank wanted to charge me a service fee. Isn't a bank required to honor its checks?

Financial institutions are not prohibited by state or federal law from having different rules for non-customers. So, despite the fact that the check was drawn on that bank, it legally can impose a fee for cashing one of its checks for a non-customer. Had you instead deposited the check at your own bank, you would not have been charged a fee. Why? "Because financial institutions do not charge each other for checks presented through the normal clearing process," says FDIC Washington-based attorney Robert Patrick.
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#15 Consumer Suggestion

here's the link:

AUTHOR: Chuck - (U.S.A.)

fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news/sum99cn/&answers.html

Cashing Checks
I just went to a bank to cash my paycheck, which is drawn on that bank. But because I didn't have an account there, the bank wanted to charge me a service fee. Isn't a bank required to honor its checks?

Financial institutions are not prohibited by state or federal law from having different rules for non-customers. So, despite the fact that the check was drawn on that bank, it legally can impose a fee for cashing one of its checks for a non-customer. Had you instead deposited the check at your own bank, you would not have been charged a fee. Why? "Because financial institutions do not charge each other for checks presented through the normal clearing process," says FDIC Washington-based attorney Robert Patrick.
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#16 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Are you serious??

AUTHOR: Bill - (U.S.A.)

It is not against the law to charge a fee to cash a check. There is absolutely nothing that states it is against the law to do that?? Please direct me to where I can find your info? B of A, Wells Fargo, Chase, Compass, Regions,....... shall I go on? All charge check cashing fees. Please tell me where you bank that does not charge this fee? And if they are not charging it by now than they will soon it is an easy money maker for the banks they have been doing it for years and I beleive that if it were illegal dont you think the feds would have stepped in by now??

Keep it simple cash it against your own account and if your concerned about getting stuck with a bad check from one of your customers and you insist on cashing the check at the bank the check is drawn off of then insist they pay the fee or only accept cash or an official check that way you dont have to worry about a check bouncing? Business owners have dealt with bad checks since they were invented its all part of business. Instead of paying the check cashing fee deposit it into your account and if the check bounces let the authorities know and have that person prosecuted. Last time I checked it was against the law to right bad checks. And it is not against the law to charge a fee to cash them.
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#17 Consumer Comment

Similar experience

AUTHOR: Paul - (U.S.A.)

Wells Fargo is not my bank, but I was cashing 3 or more checks written by one of their customers, every month and they were charging me $5 a check.

I was using the drive-thru because I am physically disabled and it is hard for me to get in and out of the car, so I avoid it. They repeatedly told me that I wouldn't have to pay the $5/check if I opened a 'free' savings acct.

Eventually, they wanted me to go into the bank every time I wanted to cash a check to get my thumb print on the check, also reminding me that if I opened an account with them I wouldn't have to come in all of the time. I went ahead and opened up that 'free' (NO) acct and now I am regretting it. I posted a complaint about that fiasco.
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#18 Consumer Comment

Check cashing fees

AUTHOR: Sheila - (U.S.A.)

All financial institutions have the right to charge a fee if you do not have an account with them. They consider it a "fee" to provide a service that you do not deserve because you bank elsewhere. It's not considered a rip off...just an inconvenience for not being a "valued customer".
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#19 Consumer Comment

Its not Illegal...

AUTHOR: Tony - (U.S.A.)

Go check out fdic.gov

They state that it isnt illegal on the FDIC's website, so it seems you have been mis-informed. The banks win again.....
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#20 Consumer Comment

Its not Illegal...

AUTHOR: Tony - (U.S.A.)

Go check out fdic.gov

They state that it isnt illegal on the FDIC's website, so it seems you have been mis-informed. The banks win again.....
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#21 Consumer Comment

Its not Illegal...

AUTHOR: Tony - (U.S.A.)

Go check out fdic.gov

They state that it isnt illegal on the FDIC's website, so it seems you have been mis-informed. The banks win again.....
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#22 Consumer Comment

Its not Illegal...

AUTHOR: Tony - (U.S.A.)

Go check out fdic.gov

They state that it isnt illegal on the FDIC's website, so it seems you have been mis-informed. The banks win again.....
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#23 Consumer Comment

I want to see this so called federal law....

AUTHOR: Tony - (U.S.A.)

I've been looking, and wouldnt you know, its not there. But I did check out a few other banks in the area, even the smalls ones, and they charge as well if you dont have an account with them. Looks like everyone is breaking the "FEDERAL LAW"....
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#24 Consumer Suggestion

Gee, thanks Jodi.

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

All banks do not charge a fee as I outlined. The more ethical banks will not even attempt it. It's AGAINST FEDERAL LAW for any FDIC insured bank or credit union to charge any fee whatsoever for cashing any check that is written AGAINST an account of that bank. Period.

Many banks ATTEMPT to collect said fee - it's illegal and as soon as you remind them of it they will back off and pay the check for free. If they still insist on charging a fee, ask to speak to the manager and if he/she insists on the fee, demand to use their phone to contact either FDIC or your state's banking commission on the spot!

In the U.S. it's federal law.

As to why would they do it for free? They aren't - the have the use of the moneys in the checking account - the account holders money.

U.S law requires any U.S. bank to pay any check drawn against them (assuming funds are available and no stop payment request) when it is present to the bank or a branch office of the bank it is drawn against.

If some of you wish to pay this fee, go right ahead, but the law says they have to cash it and charge you NOTHING!

I have NEVER paid such a fee. I've had a few bank branch offices attempt to collect a fee, and when I remind them of the law and assert that I will call authorities on my cell phone, they back down.
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#25 Consumer Comment

Robert from Bufalo is correct!

AUTHOR: Jodi - (U.S.A.)

My husband is self-employed. He gets several checks from several different banks weekly. If he's on a job site and needs material, he will cash the check at the bank where the check comes from (if it's near the job site) for the sole purpose of avoiding the fee! I have NEVER heard of a 'fee' for cashing their own customers check, and for anyone that does pay a fee...YOU ARE BEING RIPPED OFF! Yes, banks do charge a fee if you are not a customer, but where I'm from they NEVER charge for cashing a check that's going to come through the bank eventually.
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#26 Consumer Comment

All banks charge this fee, it's not a scam

AUTHOR: Jimmy - (U.S.A.)

Check with your own personal bank and I guarantee they charge the $5 fee to non-customers. If they actually did this through the drive thru then consider yourself lucky because they are going against bank policy. Drive thru is for customers only at all banks! If you go inside, I'm sure they have a sign somewhere that mentions the $5 fee. This isn't 5% scam either, if you want to get into a compass scam go complain about the overdraft fees.

Considering that the top 5 major national banks ALL charge this fee and the government is not filing charges against any of them. I am pretty sure that this doesn't violate bank laws.

If you really want to get around the $5 fee, just tell them you have an account there. Half the time most banks don't even take the time to ask you for the account number. They just cash the check and don't think twice about it.
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#27 Consumer Comment

Name a Bank that doesnt charge non customers...

AUTHOR: Tony - (U.S.A.)

I have worked at many banks over the years, and not one, from the smal local banks to the large corporate banks have offered free services to non customers. What benefit is there for the bank to offer you the same services they offer their customers? Not one bank cashes checks for non customers for free. If you know of one, i would like to know. I would suggest that you go to the bank that you are a client of and get you little check cashed for free. Its not like there was no way of getting around this fee, you could have just went to your own bank.
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#28 Consumer Comment

They are not allowed to do that!

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

Good for you!

Banks are not allowed to charge you for cashing a check that is drawn against one of thier accounts. They can charge for cashing a check if you don't have an account with them and the check is drawn from a different bank.

The whole point of cashing a check at a branch office of the bank that it's drawn against is so that you don't get hit by your bank if the check is returned not paid for whatever reason!

Any FDIC insured bank knows this and is willingly breaking federal banking laws when they attempt it. Simply remind them that the check is drawn against them and that if they insist on the charge that you will report them immediately to the FTC and your state's banking commission.

If you are cashing a check at the bank that it's drawn against, NEVER yield to any type of fee for cashing it. Note, they can if they like, hold the check until they clear it and ask you to wait a day or two for the funds.
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