Several years ago, I opened a checking account at Umbrellabank.com. This online bank offered a checking account with a decent interest, and the bank would reimburse ATM charges if you made a withdrawal from a "foreign" ATM. I later opened a Pot O' Gold Money Market account with them, and eventually had tens of thousands of dollars at Umbrellabank.
Fast forward to December 2009, when Umbrella Bank (a division of New South Federal Savings Bank) was taken over by Beal Bank after being closed by the FDIC. At first, Beal Bank tried to reassure customers that everything was business as usual at the newly acquired bank, stating in a letter to account holders that "Your ATM/debit card will continue to work, and bill paying will work as it has in the past."
Just last month, I received a packet of material from Beal Bank essentially saying that they were eliminating all Umbrella Bank Checking accounts, and that ATM cards, bill payments and checks would no longer be honored as of May 10, 2010. This was the first time I had heard about this change.
So with less than three weeks notice, they sent me scrambling to find other places to put my money. I was especially annoyed because I used Umbrella Bank's online bill payment services. I had to setup another bank account to handle those payments. To make matters worse, it seemed that when Beal Bank eliminated online bill payments, they also eliminated online transfers, making it much harder to get your money out of Beal Bank once the conversion was completed.
Well, to make long story short, I finally got the last of my money out of Beal Bank, and I can now confidently say "Good Riddance!" to Beal Bank.
The Road to the Fortress of Solitude
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