It’s Tough To Change Banks

Who thinks about how deeply embedded you are in one bank until you have to change to a new one?

After 28 years at Wilmington Trust, we are moving on.  Why?  M&T Bank bought this fine Delaware institution and the changes are rolling in.  Yesterday I received a book (really, a book) on what is going to happen when they make the merger final.  Thousands of words and dollars were spent on this glossy page turner, but it was still confusing and complicated.  What was clear was this unwanted change was bringing with it new fees and less confidence, much less confidence.

So, we are forced to say good-by to a good friend and the great team in Greenville and take our chances with another locally owned financial institution, Sun East Federal Credit Union.

Started more than 60 years ago by Sun Oil employees, this credit union has grown conservatively and prospered.  Are there as many branches as M&T?  No.  Are there as many fees?  Definitely no.  Is it locally owned and personal?  Yes.  In fact, when we open our new accounts, we will be share holders, members of the credit union, not a number on a list of customers M&T is sucking into its very large maw.

But, back to the original thought, changing banks is not all that easy and our finances are pretty clear-cut.  We only have one small home equity loan.  We will have to get a coupon book, set up a new loan at Sun East and move that over.  We have direct deposits from 3 places — all of them have to move.

And tracking down auto payments to long-standing vendors means combing through old statements to make sure no one gets missed.  Bill paying was easy this way but now we have everything from ADT to EZ Pass accounts to move from one financial institution to another. Debit cards close then open with new numbers.  Checks get shredded and new ones issued.

We will probably miss some bits and bobs that needed to be closed, transferred or updated.  We will surely get calls from some companies authorized to debit but unable to do so because the money is gone and so are we.  But making this change is worth it.  I don’t know Sun East at all but there is more trust level with this group than there is with M&T — the out-of-town bank that is taking over our familiar financial partner.  It is definitely time to move on!


Filed under Budgeting, Home Ec on Acid, Saving Money

2 responses to “It’s Tough To Change Banks

  1. I really hate banks anymore.

    I don’t have direct deposit and for a long time never trusted depositing money in an ATM. I got over that and now use ATM’s exclusively. I dread going to a teller only to spend more time listening to “special offers” than just making my deposit.

    I’ve been following (not yet open for operation) which appears to be banking for the new age with an intent to focus on customer service and simplicity.

    BankSimple, however, is not local, nor has local branches (as it’s all electronic), so I still admire your transition to a locally owned and operated bank. At least there, you’re more likely to be Pat than account number 1234567890.

    • patsquared2

      It is hard to figure out who owns who in this business so I really went looking for a bank that was local. I used the compare tool at to run through a lot of options Sun East compared well to its larger cousins. We had a great experience with Farm Credit Bureau in Virginia but they don’t offer checking or ATMs – just loans. So Sun East it is.

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