Monday, May 17, 2010

Good Riddance Beal Bank

Several years ago, I opened a checking account at 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.



L said...

They still have my money! With such short notice, I scrambled to get my money out of my checking account -- Beal told me nothing about how I was going to be able to access my account after the "transition". I was going to do a last online bill pay on Friday, May 7th. I went to their login page just after 5 PM, where it says that they're doing and "upgrade" and online banking would not be available from 5 PM May 7th until May 10th -- the day they were ending online bill pay for Umbrellabank customers. Despicable! They basically ended online bill pay 2+ days early without notice to affected customers. (A notice on the login page doesn't cut it.)

It's been nearly two weeks since then, and I still haven't received any information from Beal about my account such that I can even re-enroll in the online banking. Calling the 1-866-UMBRELLA this evening has been useless.

Fortunately, there's a branch not to far from me, and it seems my last resort is to go there in person and demand my money from some clueless teller. If you could post what you did to get your money away from Beal, or likewise -- anyone else out there with a similar experience and what it took to get your money out of Beal -- it would help me and other unfortunate former Umbrella customers a lot.

pfstock said...

Thanks for the comment. Before Umbrellabank discontinued online transfers, I drew down both my money market and checking accounts to the minimum amounts that would not incur a monthly fee ($1000 and $500 respectively). I wanted to minimize the amount of my money that they still had. A few days later, I got a nearly incomprehensible phone message from Beal Bank because they noticed large withdrawals on my accounts, and were asking if I really intended to withdraw my money. I did!

Then I called customer service to have them close my accounts and pay out any accrued interest. But, they wouldn't accept my instructions by phone. They required me to send them a signed letter with account numbers and written instructions to close my account.

Anyway, I eventually got two checks in the mail for the balances of my accounts. And, I cashed them right away. But, good luck to you, and I hope that you get your money back soon.

penny stock investing said...

Online banking is really useful now a days. Very useful information here about features of online bank. I am wondering about this issue. Thanks for sharing your experience.

moneymonk said...

your blog is there, pf stock

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