Warning! Unjust Bank Charges

Spring 2006 CSANews Issue 58  |  Posted date : May 27, 2007.Back to list

Dear Sirs:

I recently had a disturbing banking experience with Bank of America in Fort Myers, Florida. A normal deposit of $4,000.00 USD from my local U.S. Dollar account at TD Canada Trust was hit with a transaction deduction and service charges of $110.00 USD, on the pretense that it was a banker’s “collection item” and not a normal “clearing item”.

I have made many previous deposits the same way. When I pressed for reversal of the charge, the TD Canada Trust were kind enough to credit my account, but the Bank of America took the position that Canadians are credit risks, and this is the cost of doing business with them.

This policy and practice is, I am sure, limited to the Bank of America since I have done business at many Florida banks. Your membership should be alerted that they stand the risk of being charged a defacto collection fee without prior warning and, while TD Canada Trust covered the charge as a matter of good public relations, the collection charge originated with the Bank of America.

I enclosed a copy of the Bank of America letter.

Yours very truly,
J. Bruce Gardner


Dear Mr. Gardner,

Thank you for your recent letter.

All foreign items must be sent for collection. We continue to experience significant losses on foreign items. Due to the length of time it can take for the foreign items to clear, and the inherent risk associated with making funds available before the item clears, we can not simply deposit the item.

Collection is the only means we have available to us to more effectively reduce and manage risk. Our experience with Canadian items has been particularly troublesome. We are attempting to prevent fraud, forgery and counterfeit items.

Collecting items has become our standard operating procedure to reduce losses, which are growing at unacceptable rates.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.

Thank you.
Sincerely,
Kenneth A. O’Donnell
Consumer Market Executive
Lee/Collier Market
Bank of America


Response:
The only reason why there is a delay in“collecting” foreign items is because of the Patriot Act. The purpose of the Patriot Act most certainly is not to prevent Canadians from depositing money into the American Economy. This policy of treating your deposit as a collection item instead of a clearing item doesn’t do a lot to make a Canadian feel welcome at their bank. It does, however, provide another reason why the Snowbird Currency Exchange is a good program to move your money hassle free.