Bank of the West

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Loan Confidentiality
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
CALIFORNIA -- My husband and I have a boat financed in both of our names with Bank of the West. When my husband passed away my attorney sent a letter to Bank of the West without my knowledge, telling them he would be handling the affairs of the estate. Without consulting me to get a Power of Attorney for them to give information to my attorney, BOW requested and obtained a Creditor's Claim from the clerk of court. BOW said they needed to cover themselves in case I did not continue to pay the loan, although I have excellent credit and never missed any payments.

The court system charged BOW $169.00 for it, and BOW in turn charged it to my loan, without even notifying me. Any respectful bank or loan company would ask the customer who pays the bills for a Power of Attorney before releasing confidential loan information to any attorney who sends them a letter.

I will not be doing any other business with Bank of the West.
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madconsumer on 07/05/2012:
the bank does not require a power of attorney from you to deal with the lawyer, as the lawyer is acting on your behalf. if anyone is at fault, it would be the lawyer.
trmn8r on 07/05/2012:
It sounds like the attorney is the executor of your husband's estate, and if so I believe he and the bank can exchange information associated with your husband's affairs, including this loan.
raven2010 on 07/05/2012:
In addition to the above comments, CA is a community property state. The attorney not only had the right to act on behalf of the estate, but was obligated to do so.
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Bank of the West & unfair fees
Posted by on
PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA -- I canceled my Netflix account, but was charged anyway. This caused a Bank of the West overdraft fee. Netflix corrected the charge by refunding the money to my bank account. However, Bank of the West, will not refund the fee. The on line banking statement showed my available balance as a plus number, when in fact it was a negative number. The number was not in red nor did it have a - sign in front of it. It appeared that my account had funds available but in fact it was overdrawn. This is deceptive communication on their on line banking statement. I filed a complaint but with no satisfaction. Closing my account asap.
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Anonymous on 10/29/2009:
"This is deceptive communication on their on line banking statement."

It's not deceptive; it doesn't show everything. Don't just rely on what your online account says. Like when you spend your debit card as a credit card (you don't punch your pin code in) it may or may not show up online. Recent purchases you do that do again, may or may not show up online.
You need to keep a register. Only you know what money you've spent, what checks you've written and what automated debits come out.
Eloise on 10/29/2009:
Your problem is with Netflix not the bank! They charged you account after you cancelled your membership. Why should the bank be responsible for another company's incompentance?
MaggieMcT on 10/29/2009:
It's Netflix that owes you the overdraft fee. That wasn't the bank's fault.
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Idenitity Theft
Posted by on
COVINA, CALIFORNIA -- A Bank of the West manager instructed one of her employees to approach a friend who was a banker at another bank to steal my personal and banking information. This was done in retaliation due to a family dispute. The Bank of the West employee walked out of the other bank with my personal information including account numbers, social security number, driver’s license number and birth date. This information was subsequently transmitted out of state. All of these activities took place during working hours while these people were on the payroll of the Bank of the West. The banker at the other bank was terminated immediately upon discovery of the unauthorized access and later hired by Bank of the West.

Consumers need to be aware that although the following appears on the Bank of the West web site:

The Bank’s reputation for honesty and integrity is the sum of the personal reputations of its individual employees. Ours is a culture of ethical behavior, in which we protect the confidence and privacy of our customers and scrupulously avoid conflicts of interest.

The Bank of the West does not enforce this statement nor do they discipline any managers who violate this statement. The Bank of West actually takes the position that the activities of their managers are personal activities and not an issue for the bank despite the statement above related to their core values.

Federal agencies such as the FDIC and the California Department of Financial Institutions do not take any action related to this type of identity theft activities. Law Enforcement agencies, most notable, The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department will not take any action in a case like this unless there are fraudulent activities that actually occur with the stolen identity.

CONSUMERS – be careful with BANK OF THE WEST and beware of the behavior of their employees!!!

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tnchuck100 on 12/24/2006:
If you believe your identity has been compromised you need to notify the credit bureaus to flag your file. Do this immeadiately. These are serious allegations, however if you know it was done by bank employees you need to send the a letter putting them on notice that you will hold them responsible for any fraudulent activity. Send copies to your branch and the corporate office. Send the letters Certified mail/Return receipt.
Anonymous on 12/24/2006:
If you think! This has happened then do something NOW!
If you think your identity has been stolen, here's what to do:
Contact the fraud departments of any one of the three consumer reporting companies to place a fraud alert on your credit report. A fraud alert tells creditors to follow certain procedures before open any new accounts...

Close the accounts that you know or believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. Use the ID Theft Affidavit (PDF, 56KB) when disputing new unauthorized accounts...

File your complaint with the FTC. You may print a copy of your complaint to provide important standardized information for your police report...

File a report with your local police or police in the community where the identity theft took place. Give the police a copy of your FTC ID Theft complaint form. Get a copy of the police report (or, at least, the police report number)…
Anonymous on 12/24/2006:
Marry Christmas
Anonymous on 12/24/2006:
Morning Chuck, did you punch in?
tnchuck100 on 12/24/2006:
Morning, Liddy. Just nosin' around. Drinking my coffee.
Anonymous on 12/24/2006:
The banker at the other bank was terminated when the unauthorized access was discovered yet later hired by the offending bank. Huh? I would think that one bank would never hire someone that was terminated for such activity. Something very wrong here.
tnchuck100 on 12/24/2006:
PassingBy: That part sounds like some "good ole boy" activity.
Anonymous on 12/24/2006:
Them "good ole boy's" just don't know when to quit!
bas on 12/24/2006:
Thanks for the responses. I did subscribe to credit monitoring as well as closing all the account at the bank were the information was stolen. I notified the FDIC, the OCC, and the FTC. I have also had some interaction with the CA Dept of Financial Institutions. I am still trying to get the LA County Sheriff to do something but they don't want to get involved unless they have hard evidence in hand or some fraudulent transactions have taken place. The Bank of the West continues to defend the actions of their manager saying it is a personal matter. I just wonder how often this happens - where bank employees are involved in ID Theft.
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Warning to Bank of the West customers
Posted by on
I just received a letter from Bank of the West. It states that due to no activity on my account, that Bank of the West will be remit my funds to the state.

I ask what non activity? My accounts show deposits, withdraws, checks and ATM usage.

The account has always had problems. I tried to cash a check for some cash at the bank and I was told I had no account. Yet they found it after about 45 minutes of looking.

The bank canceled my ATM card. However it was re issued after I called and complained.

The bank has bookkeeping problems. I am jumping through hoops and crawling mazes just to keep the account open. Every time I turn around the bank seems to have another problem with my account. Though I show activity the bank says the account is abandoned.

I have never had any problems like this with other banks. They seem to be able to take deposits, but unable to find your account when you need to access your funds.

This is more of a yellow alert to all who have a Bank of the West account.
Than a complaint. I am getting out now while I can.

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tnchuck100 on 10/06/2010:
How long has this been going on? Within 24 hours of the 2nd disaster I would have pulled all my money and closed the account myself.
lied to james on 10/07/2010:
Going on for 2 years. Randomly, last 3 months however is real bad.
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After Complaining How They Run Their Service They Closed My Account
Posted by on
DELTA, COLORADO -- I have been banking with this bank for years. I went in to cash a insurance check. I needed the money for another car since mine burned. They told me they had to hold the check for 7 days. I complained and then I went in to put a check in and take cash out they would not do that. I complained again so they were holding 4600 of mine. Now I get a notice they are closing my account and holding my husbands social security diret deposit.

Its uncalled for that they make the rules as they go I called the main office in calif. And she was helpful but not I have a this letter they work for us. Its our money in there bank and they treat people like we don't amount to much when we aren't the big money holders. Its not right.
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skelly39 on 08/20/2009:
Banks are well within their right to hold any deposit you make to ensure the funds are there. I'm guessing there is more to the story. Have you had multiple overdrafts on your account? I'm not trying to sound harsh; that's what happened to me when I had a particularly bad year-they held a $5000 deposit for seven days to make sure it cleared.
I'm wondering if they closed your account for overdrafts.
BokiBean on 08/20/2009:
What reason did they give for closing the account?
Anonymous on 08/20/2009:
Did they give a reason for the hold?
Usually account history is a reason for a hold. Meaning either you've had overdrafts within the last few months or a low average balance. A check does not guarantee funds. They wouldn't just close your account for no reason. Usually a reason would be fraud or it was closed and sent for collections if it's been negative and never funded to take care of the negative status for at least 4 months.
But, complaining about a hold isn't a good reason for an account closing. If a teller manager is doing their job, after the hold is put (and there's no way the hold can be taken off) she/he can keep an eye on the account and as soon as the check clears, she/he can take the hold off.
Like you said, they could have deposited the check and then you could have taken money out, assuming the money you wanted to take out was in there.
What reason did they give you for the account closing?
tnchuck100 on 08/20/2009:
Yes, they can hold a deposit for 7 days. They can also provide some customer service when requested. They could have verified that check in short order if they wanted to. The OP is correct. The bank really doesn't think you amount to much. It's all about THEIR money, THEIR profit, and THEIR policies. God forbid they should actually help a customer.

For all you bank huggers who may comment: Yes, there are a myriad of extenuating possibilities that may exist but are not in the review. But your comments should stay within the framework of what is presented and not attacking every conceivable self-destructive thing the OP MIGHT have done.

(Talk about a preemptive strike - this was it!)
BokiBean on 08/20/2009:
I usually agree with you chuck, but in this case, holding an insurance check is not out of the ordinary...happens all the time down here after the hurricanes.

Then, to me, it sounds like the OP tried to deposit ANOTHER check and draw cash on it, and there was a hold on that too.

No teller in her right mind is going to take the chance of calling on a check to find out if it is good..advance funds on that check, and then face the firing squad when the check doesn't clear. That's not their job.

Banks do not close accounts willy nilly..that's cutting their own throats.
tnchuck100 on 08/20/2009:
Boki, what was to disagree? All I said was they COULD have expedited the funds availability but because they were not required to they wouldn't.
Anonymous on 08/20/2009:
It is very common to hold insurance checks. Often, the item is not actually a check, but rather is a draft. The difference is that a draft is not payable until it is received back at the insurance company, and they then instruct their bank to pay it. This is done because the wording on the back of the item states that it is final settlement of a claim, so the insurance company wants your signature before they pay it. It is not readily obvious to a layperson what is a check and what is a draft, so they tend to get blanket holds for large dollar amounts.

The bank isn't ripping the depositor off, they themselves don't have the funds.
Anonymous on 08/20/2009:
I have to agree with Chuck. The thing that peeves me about bank of America is they will hold ANY deposit that is made. It does't matter if is a check that is brought in or a direct deposit. I did have direct deposit with B of A and they held it for 24 hours. I'm not sure why, I never questioned it and had enough money to cover my debits so it didn't matter. But that is beside the point. Checks can be processed electronically. They can process a check immediately when we write it why can't they do the same when a check is deposited into the account? It is very one sided, in favor of the banks.

Now as for closing the account, there has to be more to the story. Banks do not close accounts because a customer voices a complaint.
Anonymous on 08/20/2009:
If banks closed accounts just based on a customer complaining about a hold on a check, banks wouldn't be in business.
BokiBean on 08/20/2009:
Is BoA also Bank of the West?
PepperElf on 08/20/2009:
you're right

I'm thinking her "complaints" to the bank were not calm polite ones

but a lot of letter-writers like to do that, down play their own actions to make themselves look like victims when they had been acting horribly
Anonymous on 08/20/2009:
Yes Boki, I merged the two banks over night. Hey, it could happen! LOL I should have been clear that I was speaking of my experience with deposits.
BokiBean on 08/20/2009:
I know when we got an insurance check after Ivan, we had to have both of us sign, and the signatures had to be "just so".

Ken put it very eloquently..I just know that it was a PITA. And I think our mortgage holder had to sign off on it too? Hell, I can't remember..
BokiBean on 08/20/2009:
John, to be honest..those big banks are all one big blur with me. I was seriously asking, though, I really didn't know.

BUT in my mind, BoA is the worst of a bad bunch. It would take some serious effort for another bank to get even close. ;)
skelly39 on 08/20/2009:
tnchuck-I had a hold put on a student loan check. My bank put a hold on it a full 24 hours AFTER I deposited it without notification. Even when I went in there and asked them to call the other bank to verify it cleared, which they did and it had, they still would not release the hold. They did, however, have to refund me all the overdraft fees and bad check charges I incurred because they failed to notify me at the time of the deposit that it was going to be held. My point is that, while the bank could easily call and verify availability of funds with the issuing bank, that's no guarantee that they are going to release the hold.
Anonymous on 08/20/2009:
Boki, I think Chase probably also ranks up there. But, a majority of the complaints I see about Chase are from former Wamu account holders.
BokiBean on 08/20/2009:
I think Chase for credit cards, BoA for banks..

No wait, Am Ex for crdit cards..then Chase. I think. Maybe.
Anonymous on 08/20/2009:
Either way, if I ever want a new checking account or credit card... American Express and Chase will be last on my list to go to.
I can't say much about BoA, I've had an account with them since 2004, and a credit card since 2006. *shrugs* But, I don't complain about them...
BokiBean on 08/20/2009:
skelly..that is kind of frightening about your student loan check.
Suusan B. on 08/20/2009:
There is more to this story than the OP is revealing. Yes, banks do put holds on certain checks or drafts but they don't close accounts simply because a customer complains. I'm with Chase (gasp) and have deposited checks and gotten cash on the spot - - but then again, I've never had an overdraft and keep a decent balance.
skelly39 on 08/20/2009:
Boki-yes, it made me a little irate that they didn't notify me of the hold until a full day later when I started bouncing checks all over the place. Then they took it off and re-placed it. I know why they did it, and I wasn't mad about that. I was mad because they didn't notify me on the spot. Yes, those were lean times. Kind of like now, except I'm older so it's kind of pathetic.
Suusan B, I wish I could say the same. But hey, at least I don't write a two-page review complaining about getting hit with fees.
BokiBean on 08/20/2009:
Glad they made it good least they did that.
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Checking Account
Posted by on
GLENDALE, CALIFORNIA -- Today I went to BOW branch in Glendale, CA on Glendale Ave. to open a free checking account, to my surprise they refuse to open a checking account for me unless I would also open a saving account as well.

I walk out of the branch knowing that not only BOW lost a potential customer but I will not recommend BOW to any one!
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