I have started moving some of my money out of JP Morgan Chase. I have a lot of accounts with them right now. I have checking, savings and two credit cards with them. I opened a savings account with Frost Bank.
There are some conveniences with a large bank. They are everywhere. I had a Chase account in Chicago. There are Chase branches here. I will be in Idaho for the next month, and there are Chase branches there. There are no BMO Harris branches in Texas. I thought I would be in Chicago for the rest of my life, yet here I am in Texas. I have a feeling that I will not be in Texas for the rest of my life. So using a big bank does give me some flexibility.
Plus there is something to be said for having a physical branch to go to. When I moved into the apartment I am in now, I needed to get a cashier’s check. If I only had an online bank, I do not think I would have been able to do that.
Yet big banks played a part in sending the economy off the cliff. And all these years later JP Morgan Chase is still making headlines for lying and cheating. The Automatic Earth has a good list of all the ways JP Morgan Chase is lying and cheating. The Big Picture has a list of bank crimes (this is all the big banks, not just Chase), as well as a list of fines JP Morgan Chase has paid before their recent record settlement. Articles about the big recent settlement can be found at The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, Bloomberg, and a few from Naked Capitalism (here and here).
Long ago, I only had a credit card with Chase. I had a checking account with First Chicago. They merged with Bank One, who then merged with JP Morgan Chase. I got a credit card with Providian, which then got bought by Washington Mutual, which was then bought by JP Morgan Chase. I had a savings account with one Evil big bank which I then moved to Chase.
I will probably not move everything, at least not right away. Maybe in the grand scheme of things it will not make much difference. I am just one guy. But at the same time I feel like I am supporting bad decisions by stupid rich people.
The woman I spoke to at Frost said that she has clients in other states, and other countries as well. So I might be able to keep this account for a while. We shall see.