A while back I wrote about my eagerness to Move my Money – for reasons both political and practical – and my intention to make the Greenbelt Credit Union my money’s new home.
So here’s the latest: I still hadn’t closed my SunTrust account and transferred my automatic payment and deposit instructions to the credit union when I ran into a snag. An insurmountable one.
When I finally looked at my credit union monthly statements (admittedly, after three of them had arrived) I discovered to my dismay that they didn’t indicate to whom checks were made out to. That’s a detail that anyone who’s self-employed and deducts lots of payments for lots of reasons absolutely has to have. And it’s something I hadn’t written down in my check register – because SunTrust statements had always given me that info. (If you’re concluding I pay far too little attention to my financial affairs, boy-howdy is that ever true. Always been that way.)
Overall, I found Credit Union statements hard to decipher but the big problem was the lack of payee info anywhere to be found – no returned checks (standard practice these days) but also no scanned images of checks.
Throwing myself on the mercy of the Credit Union, I discovered that the information IS available – at $3 per check. And only for 6 months or so (kinda vague about that detail), after which there’s no way to know who a check was made out to. I asked the general manager what’s a customer to do about this lack of information and was reprimanded for not keeping adequate bank records myself. I was told that carbon copies of the checks we write are our permanent record of checks.
But they’re not proof of payment, I protest. How I we prove actual payment? “Nobody requires proof of payment anymore,” I was unconvincingly assured. Not trusting that answer, I asked my CPA, who begged to disagree and told me to never write another check on my Credit Union account.
So much for my well-intentioned plan to move my money, huh? And Suntrust just made it easier to use their Greenway branch without having to actually drive there – with their new deposit-by-smart-phone program. After downloading the app, you just take pictures of the front and back of each check and voila!
So I’m stuck with a Big Bank after all, probably one too big to fail. Sigh.