ARGGH! Why Is the Government Doing This?   Leave a comment

For many years, I’ve been doing online banking. I pay my bills through my debit card. To reduce my exposure of being hacked (which happened last week), I keep my money in my savings account and transfer it to my savings as I need it.

Until today.

Image result for image of online bankingIn 2009 the federal government (as part of Dodd Frank, I believe, although I couldn’t find that with a quick Google search) passed a bill that has limited the number of online transfers you can make from your  savings to your checking. If you exceed that number, you are charged a fee. It’s not a bank rule. It’s a federal regulation.

Why?

When I was hacked two weeks ago, the fraudulent charge did not go on my card because I don’t keep money in my checking account. I instead got a call asking if I’d used the card and forgot to transfer the money (good customer service!) and when I said no, I had to get a new card. But at least I had access to my money. What’s more, because I didn’t have money in my account, I denied an identity thief a stay at a luxury resort in Norway. I like that.

Today, I logged in to transfer funds and it wouldn’t let me do what was necessary. Fortunately, it wasn’t 2 am and I didn’t have a bill due that morning. My bank had sent me a warning letter that I had assumed was for my son’s saving account since I had never received a warning on excess account usage. Turns out my bank has been allowing these transfers within the bank (good customer services), but the federal government is now cracking down on them, so they’ve stopped. What’s more, because I have a history of exceeding the limit (because I don’t want my money stolen by hackers), my account cannot be converted over to another type of account that would allow me to do what I’ve been doing successfully for about seven years. I can never make another online transfer from my savings to my checking … even within the six transfer limit per month. That is POOR customer service!

So tomorrow, on my supposed day off, I’ll be going to my bank and opening a second checking account with no debit card so that I can continue to use sensible banking practices.

I am so tempted to move my money to another bank, but it won’t do any good because this federal regulation affects all banks.

The question I have — the question I think the entire American population should be asking — is why in the hell are we allowing the federal government to control our banking practices? I’m an adult. I can decide whether money in my savings account should go into my checking account. I don’t need Uncle Sam looking over my grownup shoulder. And why is there a limit in the first place? Really, if you are someone in the know, please, give me a coherent explanation … something other than that it’s a federal regulation, because that is not an actual coherent reason for the limit.

This is why I oppose government involvement in our lives. They start out with something semi useful … protecting us from banks misusing our money we entrust to them … and then they decide to protect us from ourselves by micromanaging our personal financial lives.

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