The Death of Banks…and Wells Fargo Can’t Prove They are a Bank.

Banks are dying. Not fast enough, but life is not a box of chocolates.

It is true in my family. Rachel (17) and Max (15) have never stepped in a bank.

I bank with the following:

Morgan Stanley
Wells Fargo
Bank of America (Social Leverage)

Morgan Stanley has done well by me. But it’s more about the service from the group that helps me. They do my fund wires, execute block orders (they do overcharge) and are a luxury I would not give up. I do like picking up the phone for large transactions.

Wells Fargo is pathetic. I just need to take a few days and wind my complete relationship down (will elaborate later in he post).

Schwab I have been too lazy to move because the choices are not good enough today. I own the stock until I move my account. The platform is terrible, the apps are clunky, they have bait and switched me a few times with corporate accounts and their mortgage department completely wasted my time.

Robinhood has been wonderful for under $100,000 but they don’t have the services I need to do banking or the full slate of accounts and brokerage services I need….YET.

Bank of America makes me sad. I cringe that my partner Tom has chosen them as our fund bank. He runs operations so I stay out of it. There is NO reason we can’t do this differently and ditch them.

My kids have a debit card with USAA and it seems to work well. Ellen makes allowance deposits, Rachel saves her money and Max has worn out three debit cards and lost four (like his dad).

Assuming I don’t die tomorrow, it really is possible that my kids only use USAA, Robinhood and Morgan Stanley (or some other Private Wealth Manager) for all their banking.

Banks like Wells Fargo must still mail approximately 50 percent of the statements because middle and aged America won’t bank online. It’s beautiful that the clients the banks won’t fire are the ones that will contribute to their demise.

Wells Fargo is hiding behind big data (that they will never figure out in time to save their core business) but they don’t know how to use small data. Their big data machines decided to cut me off in New York from spending money, even though it was the same bank (credit card) that booked my flight TO NEW YORK. Instead of using the phone to call me (small data). They just cut me off and made me call them to prove who I was. Long story short, they are dead to me. They can’t prove to me that they are a bank!

On the other end of Asshattery in banking is Bank of America. I lost my credit card while in New York, and they let someone run 4 states charging gas, food, and candy (Vegas). They had no intention of calling anyone. I assume someone or their big data machines assumed I was on a mid life joy ride across the country while trying to raise a fund.

With TARP, the fines, the mobile web, the death of banking retail and the catering to a non internet customer, the banks have fallen too far behind to even buy their way into trust and relevance of the next few generations. The executives in power today have little to fear, because they know it’s 10-15 years away.

This week I will do my part cutting my ties to Wells Fargo. Bank of America is next.


  1. TraderMike says:

    All the big banks suck. BofA has done that same cut-me-off-when-traveling thing to me on a few occasions. They at least try to call and/or email. The worst, though, is when that happens overseas and are pressed for time. Bastards! :-)

  2. Contrarian1 says:

    Well stated Howard! USAA a great company with huge loyalty from their client base. BAC? Well if the small investor does return they do have Merrill Lynch to bleed them. Be well!

  3. Boilermakerman says:

    Fuc k off Howard you homo. More drivel from the cesspool of social media. Absolute garbage just like your Stockshits site. lol! How pretentious.

  4. Gordon Bowman says:

    Last year I was traveling abroad so I called in advance to let BofA know I was out of the country and to allow my credit card. Yet of course when I arrived and tried to use for the first time it still got declined. And I hear that story a lot. They really do need a big data fix.

    p.s. thanks for the candy.

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