My Personal Banker Left Without Saying Good-bye

When I opened a new checking account recently, with the bank I’ve been with for eleven years, the gal who helped me out gave me her business card and told me she’d be my “personal banker”. What a novel idea, one which I’d never experienced before.

This branch does seem to go the extra mile with customer service – they have a greeter at the door who welcomes you. I’m not sure if it’s really just a security measure, or they are really trying to be welcoming. Anyway, so I thought what the heck, I’ll keep her number on hand.

It really came in handy. I ended up calling her several times with little problems and questions. She was always able to help me.

Then one day a check one of Mr. A’s clients gave him bounced. I called my “personal banker” only to find she no longer worked there. I do the banking for the company which employs me and I’m there every week on the same day. The previous day I was there, she waved to me, so I know she had an opportunity to tell me she was leaving.

This leads me to think when she said, “I’ll be your personal banker” it really didn’t mean anything. If it really meant something, she would have given all her customers to another personal banker and let me know about it.

Ever since then, this bank has gone back to feeling impersonal. I had the opportunity to speak with the bank manager, and told him I was sorry she had left, and I felt disconnected without my “personal banker” and he said they were sorry she’d gone, too. He explained that her husband was transferred to a job out of state, and she had been transferred to. He said he could introduce me to some of the bankers, but he didn’t seem to be concerned that I didn’t have a “personal banker”. So maybe I put a lot more into the phrase. It sure was nice having someone to talk to, someone I could put a face to, instead of just an anonymous voice on the phone.

I am beginning to think seriously about moving our money into a credit union which we go to often. Three times a week as a matter of fact. It would certainly be convenient enough.

Have you ever had a personal banker?

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5 comments to My Personal Banker Left Without Saying Good-bye

  • Kathryn

    Yep, I’ve had relationships that go back long enough that it feels like I have a personal banker. [I think I'm also saying I'm really, really old].

    Anyway, it is a special feeling to know you go to your contact and have them sort things out for you.

    About a month ago we needed to open a new business account and I went into the bank with the check from the client in hand to ask what paperwork was needed. I had all the info in hand (just no physical, official documents). The branch manager and head of customer service vouched for me with the business manager (I knew the former manager, this one was new to me) and I opened the account right then and there and went home feeling blessed for all the helpful people in my life.

    I’ve asked other banks in the area at what point they assign a banker to an account. Answer: $2M was the lowest amount you needed to have deposited (could be in multiple accounts) before they would assign a “personal banker”, some said deposited assets needed to be in excess of $5M, and one bank (in a rich end of town) would not reveal an amount or the formula by which they determine if someone qualifies for a personal banker. At this bank you submit an application, references, and a breakdown of your portfolio(s) then cross your fingers you qualify … too rich for me.

    [Reply]

  • Brack

    I used to have a personal banker, but not in the past couple years. I think that as the bank gets larger, and develops more of the “value-added services” (code for “find another way to charge them for something”), they tend to overlook the simplicity of having a point-of-contact available to the customer – a familiar face. I try to develop some of that through attempting to deal with the same teller whenever I go to my bank, but it really just isn’t the same…

    The day of the personal banker is quickly disappearing, I fear, and that is a shame…

    [Reply]

  • Mrs. Accountability

    @Kathryn – now I feel silly… if personal bankers are only assigned to big account holders, lol. We certainly wouldn’t qualify. Well, maybe it wasn’t all MY fault, she DID say she would be my personal banker. Thanks for commenting! Do you have a blog, I’d love to check it out if you do.

    @Brack – Mr. A keeps trying to talk me into taking our main accounts from Wells Fargo to either a credit union, or a bank he’s gone to in the nearest small town from where we live. He went in to cash a client’s check and we don’t have an account there. They didn’t even ask for his ID, or make him pay $5 (like the big banks do). I was actually a little bit concerned about the “no ID necessary” part, but he said the feeling was totally different than the big banks. Hey Brack, how’s the 3 column look for your blog coming along? Thanks for commenting!

    [Reply]

  • [...] then I called Wells Fargo.  I tried to get my “personal banker” (she moved back!) on the line – she’s so sweet and helpful – but she was with another [...]

  • [...] thank the Lord above, I called the bank on Wednesday, talked to my personal banker, and had the checking account backed by the savings account for overdraft [...]

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