• Report: #402579

Complaint Review: Union Bank Of California

  • Submitted: Wed, December 17, 2008
  • Updated: Fri, January 16, 2009

  • Reported By:Somecity California
Union Bank Of California
400 California Street, 9th Floor San Francisco, California U.S.A.
  • Phone: 415-415 765-2969
  • Web:
  • Category: Banks

Union Bank of California Accuses Me of Federal Crimes, Closes Account, Reports to Chex Systems, for Withdrawing $80 from ATM San Francisco California

*Consumer Suggestion: I've been advised

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Structuring

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After I had a problem depositing a large check into my Wells Fargo checking account, I closed that account and opened an account with Union Bank of California. Wanting to avoid the large check problem, I made my opening deposit in cash. I did not make any other cash transactions. Two months after opening the account I received a letter from Union Bank of California accusing me of "structuring" cash transactions to "evade" Federal reporting requirements.

After they assured me that the letter was just a form letter and I had not done anything to cause concern, I continued using the bank account for my normal monthly online bill pays and deposits.

About a month later, I found myself in need of some pocket money, and withdrew $80 from the ATM. It appears that ANY cash transaction is a red flag in their system, and they closed my account citing the Bank Secrecy Act, the USA Patriot Act, and again, structuring accounts to evade Federal reporting requirements. I found out today (when I tried to open an account at another bank) that they also reported the closure to Chex Systems making it virtually impossible to open another bank account for the next 5 years. They sent me a check for the balance of my checking account, but I feel that it is practically worthless since I can't deposit it (because I can't open a bank account), cash it (the crime of using cash is what got me in trouble in the first place), or endorse it to anyone (my husband's bank won't accept an endorsed check for such a large amount).

I also feel strongly that they have falsely reported some sort of crime on my part to the Feds. No one at the branch or on the phone will discuss any aspect of problem with me, saying that they cannot discuss the account because of Federal laws. I cannot find any executive contact info.

Somecity, California

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/17/2008 09:42 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Union-Bank-Of-California/San-Francisco-California-94104/Union-Bank-of-California-Accuses-Me-of-Federal-Crimes-Closes-Account-Reports-to-Chex-Sys-402579. 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 Suggestion

I've been advised

AUTHOR: Ripped off wife - (U.S.A.)

to report Union Bank to the: BBB, the FDIC and to write a letter to the CEO describing what I've been through with a Union Bank branch in regards to my deceased husband's personal account. The manager and regional manager have allowed a family member of his to use his ATM AFTER his death to remove $7000 in many different branch's ATMs-though I had called them to tell them that all the money in that account was joint funds and that there had been financial exploitation of a disabled person and identity theft involved when the jackals thought he was going to die a few months previously.

His daughter was beneficiary on my husband's account containing community funds-I found out she had used his ATM, which she admits and said the 'manager told her to go ahead and do it as she was the beneficiary on that account' of my husband's full of our community money.

Union Bank has refused the Court appointed Personal Representative access to that account, closed the account and is refusing to co-operate with the investigation of Identity Theft, Theft and Exploitation of a disabled person.

My normal bank manager has advised me that using an ATM after a person's death is cutNdried THEFT and she is very shocked at the behaviors of that bank.

So-BBB, FDIC and CEO tomorrow there I go. I want my money back-that account opened so we can investigate it and some appropriate business conduct and ethics to go along with it. I want every possible crime cited by everyone who can-charges filed etc. This has caused me so much harm it is not even human what I've experienced.

Also there was one check I've seen made out to a relative-notation says 'gift' and the signature on it is definitely not my husband's, done when he was in the ICU-no wonder they don't want me and my lawyer in that account eh?
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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds


AUTHOR: Erika8 - (U.S.A.)

Structuring is a very serious problem for banks. It all depends exactly what was going on. Withdrawling 80.00 from an ATM, I can gaurantee you, is not what caused the account to be closed. Chances are there was something else that was already being investigated on the account. The initial letter you get to inform you of laws is a template that is sent when a large amount of "cash" is deposited into an account. No bank employee can tell you that amount, due to federal laws. I will tell you typically it is over 8k, in cash. This is on a monthly basis. Once this occurs the account will be monitored by "risk monitoring". Depending on what else happened, and if there were other chek system reports, that would explain why the account was closed. Here is my advice:

First, call customer service @ 800-238-4486 and ask to file a complaint, requesting a call back from the "customer advocacy team, CAT"

Second, write a letter to the office of the president, and demand a call back. Trust me, there is a specific department who handles these complaints, and you will get a call back.- however typically it is from the "CAT" team. However they will do whatever they can to help you, they are all very well trained.

Third, order your chek systems report. If you feel the information reported is incorrect file a dispute with chek systems.

Lastley, in the interim, although it may not be of help- you can still open a savings account even if you were reported to chek systems. I would suggest doing this.

Please keep in mind it is not UBOC's error, nor fault. They are mandated, just as all banks are, by FDIC rules. This is s FDIC rule not a UBOC rule.

Good Luck.
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