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Big Bank Alternatives Look Better Every Day

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At a recent Truliant employee orientation class, a new hire couldn’t help but smile.

She formerly worked for one of the big banks. Already on her first day at Truliant she could tell the difference between a bank and a credit union. And her co-workers couldn’t help but notice her perpetual smile.

“Trust me, you’d be smiling too,” she told them, pointing to the marked culture difference she was recognizing.

The bank she’d worked for previously had three-to-four conference calls daily to micromanage a relentless push to meet daily sales quotas for add-on products to accounts. If you didn’t meet the numbers you were stuck working late doing cold calls to meet them.

A recent story in the Los Angeles Times described this big bank’s nauseating pressure cooker sales culture. Employees were told they’d end up working in fast food restaurants if they couldn’t hack it. They reported engaging in flat out unethical behavior to meet sales quotas.

Too Big To Control?

To meet these quotas, bank employees reported opening duplicate accounts and new credit lines without permission, ordering credit cards that had been pre-approved without the holder’s knowledge and forging signatures to open new accounts. Managers reported falsifying phone numbers of angry customers so they couldn’t be reached for bank satisfaction surveys.

Does this sound like a financial institution that has your best interests at heart? Or does it speak to a corporate culture willing to risk your long-term financial partnership to meet its short-term quarterly goals?

These weren’t localized incidents, they were widespread.

This is the same bank that was recently ordered to pay a $3.2 million judgment in a separate case for foreclosing on the home of a dead man. It ignored the mortgage insurance he purchased from this same bank to pay off the remaining $125,000 balance on his house in the event of his accidental death.

So much for peace of mind. The bank ignored a family forbearance request and said the loan was in default.

Instead, this bank used the proceeds from the deceased’s $133,000 insurance check to pay post-mortem delinquency, late payment, attorney fees and 18 property inspections, leaving his family with about $4,400. All those fees, despite requests of the estate that the bank hold off pending the insurance payout.

This bank’s brand value was recently estimated at $30 billion, making it one of the largest in the world. It serves an estimated one-in-three households in the United States. This is a bank that has a $1.5 trillion balance sheet.

It Matters Who You Choose

Convenience is one factor that should play into your decision when choosing a financial partner. But it’s not the only one.

Our corporate culture isn’t built on selling Truliant member-owners every add-on product we offer. Our top priority is to have a conversation with members about how we can best meet their individual needs. As a not-for-profit financial cooperative, Truliant Federal Credit Union strives to help member-owners build strong financial futures. Our core mission is to improve our members’ quality of life.

It’s at least worth considering that a partner only in it for the short term who accepts the expendability of its employees, knowing they’ll work hard to meet its goals for a while before they burn out, while nickel-and-diming its financial partners, doesn’t necessarily have your best interests at heart.

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