I’ve had the same bank for the last twenty years. Actually, I’ve gone to the same building for the last twenty years and the bank name changes every two or three. The most recent change has resulted in my bank becoming a “store.” This is how they introduce themselves. There are no branches, just stores.
What exactly happens when you go to a bank branch store? What kind of store are they – a laundry, an automotive repair service, a discount retailer? “Yes, Mr. Curmudgeon, we see that your cash is getting a little wrinkled. Just leave it here and we’ll return it on Thursday freshly pressed.” (Catchy name – Freshly Pressed.)
Or perhaps, “It is time for your periodic tune up and lube on all your accounts. Your savings could use a drain and flush in addition to the tune up. (My savings are often drained with no tune up in sight.) It’s also time to rotate all your accounts – savings will become checking, checking will become bonds, bonds will become CD’s. “
Or maybe it’s a discount store. “Today we are having a special on five dollar bills. You can get 10 five dollar bills for the price of 9.” This seems like a bargain until you go to the checkout counter of your bank branch store and find that, with tax, handling fees and surcharges, 10 five dollar bills will cost you fifty-two dollars and forty nine cents.
Why the hell can’t bank branches just be bank branches and do what they’re supposed to do – accept deposits, cash a check and give me smaller bills for a twenty? When did they become my BFF (best friend forever) and want me to open all sorts of superfluous accounts so that my interest rate can go from .0000008 percent to .0000009 percent? The word quantum is now used as an adjective to mean a large increase in something – think quantum leap – when, in fact, as a noun it means a very, very small change. Banks could advertize that they are offering an increase of a quantum in the interest rate of your savings accounts and be telling the truth!
I can’t wait to see what happens the next time I go to my bank “store.” They may be offering an all-expenses paid vacation to my safe deposit box.