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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Really Bank Of America? Stealing $75 From Little Girls

Last year, I visited my sister's family and trying to be a good auntie, I took her girls, ages 2, 4, and 6 to the local Bank Of America to open savings accounts for them. My uncle did that for me when I was a little girl, and I have  been a saver ever since.

Made BAC Shareholders $25 Richer 
As you can imagine, this wasn't the smoothest opening of bank accounts in the world, especially because my little two-year-old niece can be somewhat impatient with her bankers. The two older girls were very excited at getting their "very own" savings accounts, especially after I explained (5 or 6 times) how their money would grow with the interest they would earn.

The BOfA account specialist was a sport about it, and I deposited $25 in each of their accounts to get them started. Because the girls are children, the accounts were officially in my name, but they each got their own little passbook with the amount of $25 written in.

Today, I was going through some of my unopened mail, and I discovered statements for the 3 savings accounts. I hadn't bothered to open them, because, I assumed, since I had the passbooks, and they were savings accounts, there would be no activity on the accounts.

That was my second major mistake. The first was to trust Bank Of America with the savings accounts of my darling little nieces. As it turns out, Bandits Of America had helped themselves to the $25 in each account in the form of "fees" - which they charge, I learned from their customer service center, on savings accounts with balances less than $300. So now I have to tell my three little nieces that Bank Of America took their money.

I understand fees on a checking account; the Bank is providing a service. It never occurred to me that a Bank would be so low as to charge fees on a savings account. When I was a little girl, I used to make deposits to my savings account in change - 75 cents in quarters, 80 cents in dimes - I think after 5 years I had managed to save up around $60 of which I was very proud. By the time I was in high school, I had saved enough to buy my first 10 speed bicycle - a sparkly gold Schwinn-Le Tour for $180.00.

I guess it is a metaphor for the times - the bank, especially Bank Of America, is the last place on earth a little girl should consider trusting with her money.

Thank you, Bank Of America - I hope your shareholders enjoy the $25 in profits they "earned" by ransacking my two-year-old nieces first savings account, and the $25 BAC charged my 4 year old niece that might have contributed to BAC Corp.'s Quarterly Dividend on Series L Preferred Stock, and let's not forget the $25 from my 6 year old nieces first savings account that surely was not discussed at the Bank of America 2011 Investor Conference.

Way to go Bank Of America. You should be really proud of yourselves. Mothers of the world, be very careful about bringing your babies near a Bank Of America branch. Especially if they are holding a lolli.


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