We're in Survival Mode
From: "10 Things Your Bank Won't Tell You", Jim Rendon, SmartMoney Magazine, 5/12/09
Banks may still be a safe place to stash your cash, with the FDIC now insuring up to $250,000 per depositor. But after years of lending money to just about anyone with a pulse, the industry is paying a steep price. Losses on bad loans issued during the credit bubble could top $1.4 trillion, according to the International Monetary Fund. With their balance sheets in tatters and stock prices in the gutter, some of America’s biggest banks have been forced to merge to survive. And even with the U.S. government infusing money into the system to get banks lending again, “the days of easy credit are gone,” says Greg McBride, senior financial analyst with Bankrate.com.
Customer service also seems to be a casualty of the credit crunch. With less money coming in, many big banks are cutting jobs, closing branches, and scaling back their call-center operations, says Mike Moebs, a bank industry consultant in Chicago. Moreover, employees left on the job now have to handle more customers and may have less flexibility to ease up on fees for overdrafts or other services. “Customer service is waning at the big banks,” says Moebs. “It’s a downward spiral.”
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Written By: rnybeck
Date Posted: 5/12/2009
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