• Report: #499740
Complaint Review:

Citizens Bank N.A.

  • Submitted: Thu, September 24, 2009
  • Updated: Thu, October 08, 2009

  • Reported By: Yvonne — West Reading Pennsylvania USA
Citizens Bank N.A.
One Citizen's Plaza Providence, Rhode Island United States of America
  • Phone: 4014567000
  • Web:
  • Category: Banks

Citizens Bank N.A. Unethical Business practices by Citizens Bank Providence, Rhode Island

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I am curious

*Consumer Comment: How About We Clarify A Few Things...

*Consumer Comment: Hang in there Yvonne...

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The subject is NSF fees, more specific Citizens Bank's unethical collection and processing of Overdraft fees.  Everyone knows that when you open bank accounts you sit with an associate and they give you all the details and ask you to sign your rights away to your money.  They expect you to trust them to hold your money and never question any transaction. At least recognize that everything will eventually be your fault and they will collect as much as they can from you before you close your account.  They justify their excessive fees and practices of fraud by a paper that you sign.  Now remember the whole time you are looking at your new account papers they are steadily talking to you making friendly conversation and gaining your trust.  There is no discussion or disclosure of fees at that time and when you ask the representative any questions concerning this matter they skirt around the issue trying to reassure you that they will take good care of your savings.

  However, be aware that this is how they begin to flip the tables.  Did you know that the banking industry collected over $3,000,000,000 in revenue generated from bank fees.  How is it that they need to be bailed out by our government? CEO's and Presidents of National banks have taken huge bonuses leaving their companies with very little reserve.  All because of greed.  You can read up on this in the daily news articles.  Every week there seems to be a new bank that has a pending lawsuit.  The most recent is Bank of America.  President Obama is finally holding them accountable since the SEC did not think it needed to.  Read about it in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times or even BusinessWeek.  It will all end one day, hopefully soon. 

I'm outraged because I'm a college student trying to make my way in this world.  My husband and I opened a checking and savings account with Citizens Bank in Wyomissing, PA earlier this year.  We were so glad to make a large deposit and start saving for a house.  We both work and are conscientious about keeping our finances in order.  So, when I looked at my account and saw that it was overdrawn I began calling the assistant bank manager asking questions and making plans to clear up the issue.  All along I thought I had OD protection, little did I know that she did not add this link on my account.  How nice of her to make an error in the banks favor and then make it out to be my fault. Oh, by the way there was money to cover the transactions that I made with my debit card in my savings account.  Well, of course I did not find any documentation in my papers to support my claim of OD protection at the time that I opened my account.  To make a long story a little shorter, my account stayed overdrawn until I got paid again 12 days later.  Overall, Citizens Bank took over $120 from me because of $38 in transactions.  Again, I had funds to cover my transactions in my savings account.  Mistakes happen, that's why there is overdraft protection.  However, that service is just a reason for the bank to charge you even more money and access more funds once they have depleted the balance in your checking account. 

I filed a complaint with the BBB and the bank representative tried to justify the banks actions by citing the new account document that I signed in the beginning.  The part that he continuously referred to was that I authorized the bank to take any money they felt that they were owed from my account to the highest legal limit.  I wonder how many lobbiests in Washington it took to make that clause legal? How many legal loopholes are involved in banking?  How many billions of dollars have been stolen from Americans in cases like this arrogant interpretation of legal bull crap.  I hope that there is a class action lawsuit against Citizens Bank.  I also hope that all banks are made to revise their fee structures and conduct business ethically.  Until then, bank with your local Credit Union.  They are much more friendly, honest, helpful and cost efficient!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/24/2009 07:58 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/citizens-bank-na/providence-rhode-island-02903/citizens-bank-na-unethical-business-practices-by-citizens-bank-providence-rhode-islan-499740. 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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#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I am curious

AUTHOR: RI''er - (USA)

Jim, are you an employee of such banks because every post I have seen you on says the same thing. I worked for Citizen's Bank. I left because I disagreed with their legal yet deceptive practices. As for Savings OD protection and Reg OD protection, it is by their OWN guideline something that is supposed to be OFFERED to the customer. In the event it is not added when it should have been then yes, we would typically refund any OD fess incurred. Citizen's Bank used to be a great place to work and do business with. I saw it go down hill quite steadily in late 2007. You can preach legalitites etc all you want. Ethically, it is WRONG what they do.
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#2 Consumer Comment

How About We Clarify A Few Things...

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

First of all, over 90% of the mistakes committed are done by the account holder; this can be documented just from the ROR reports posted for just about every bank out there, let alone from other sources.  The entire transaction posting process is computer-driven, and the computer posting process doesn't make errors.  This is something universal throughout the entire industry.

Next, no bank will reassure you that they will take care of your savings.  That is not their job.  That responsibility lies with you.  It therefore becomes iincumbent upon you to look out for your own money.  Trusting anyone (let alone a bank) with your money is a sure sign of mismanagement.  That's why it's also incumbent upon you to read what it is you sign.  If you read what you signed, then you already knew that banks process debits before credits and transactions in a manner of their choosing, usually from highest to lowest.  Again, this is something universal and not isolated to this or any one bank.

Next, your assessment of bank fee revenues is significantly off - by more than a factor of 10.  In fact, the banking industry collects over $30+ billion of revenue from fees each year, and no legislation pending or otherwise will likely change that.  Our banks needed to be bailed out because our same government that bailed them out decided themselves to bail out of all the bad mortgages Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae issued through the banks, and then AIG decided they would not honor any of the insurance on the bad mortgages.  Oddly enough, the banks were the victims; more so than the consumer has been.  If they weren't victims of the government, then they would not have been bailed out.  It would have taken more than 20 years of OD fees to make up for what the banks lost in bad mortgages.  Therefore, tying bailouts with OD fees is illogical.  In addition, a bailout is not a gift.  A bailout is a loan and the banks are indeed paying that loan back with interest.  Pretty soon, the bailout will be seen as history and a way for the government to actually make money for a change.

Next, all banks (and all major Fortune 500 companies) have pending lawsuits against them; most are nuisance suits and are public information if you ever get a chance to read any of these company's SEC reports.  The most recent lawsuits regarding OD fees has been decided in favor of the banks because the courts have determined that unless an account holder can exercise due diligence (an accurate check register specifically), then the class has no case.  Obama has indeed stepped up to the plate and proposed some changes which the banks are going to comply with, but none of those changes would affect your situation because you claimed your documentation does not support the fact that you had overdraft protection in place.  If your own documentation does not support that you signed up for it, then it was never placed when the account was opened.

Finally, moving to a credit union may not be the haven it once was.  Credit Unions are suffering financially and many of them have consolidated just as the banking industry has been doing; a credit union I used to be with has now changed names 3 times through acquisitions of one sort or another.  Their fees are now about equal with that of a bank and the interest rates they offer on loans are going higher than a bank would offer in order to make up for the lost revenue they used to get from industries that used to support them.  At some point, they will either act just like a bank, or they will go the route of the Savings & Loans did in the 80's and 90's....

I'm sorry for what happened to you.  However there is nothing in your post that points out the bank's fault in what happened to you...

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#3 Consumer Comment

Hang in there Yvonne...

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

Change is certainly coming..no denying that. You seem very intelligent.

Do yourself a favor and go to the top right of this page and type in various banks in the search and read through the many reports (Bank of America, Wachovia etc...)

You will see you are not alone in this by a long shot..the banks are running scared and starting to respond. Read on these reports actions you can take to participate..and steps you can take that will actually "protect" your money.

Best of luck. and ignore anyone that comes on here to belittle you and try to put all the blame on you..they are insignificant annoyances attempting to smoke screen the issue and twist the truth. I don't understand their intent or motive since most of them claim not to be bank employees..are not victims..and are not authorized moderators or lawyers..so what are they here for other then the shear enjoyment they seem to derive from other peoples pain, and pouring salt on the wounds? (not all mind you..put a handful), there are WAY more of us then them so let it slide.

Bottom line.. results of our efforts are self evident if you read up on these reports..and/or see the news.
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