Wells Fargo isn't the only bank mishandling customer accounts

A NerdWallet analysis of more than 64,000 bank-related complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that issues involving the opening, closing or management of accounts were the most frequent problems.

Jim Young/Reuters/File
A Wells Fargo branch in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Ill.

Wells Fargo’s recent troubles over its sales practices highlight a widespread complaint from many banking customers: the mishandling of accounts. A NerdWallet analysis of more than 64,000 bank-related complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau over the past four years found that problems involving the opening, closing or management of accounts were the most frequently cited issue.

That topic accounted for 44% of all banking complaints, the most of any category during that period. In the complaints, consumers described problems such as banks providing misleading information about new accounts, imposing high fees on inactive accounts and failing to close accounts upon request. The complaints encompassed more than 400 financial institutions.

In the 12 months ending in October, complaints about the mishandling of accounts issue rose more than 40%. Within the same period, the overall number of banking complaints rose about 30%. The second most common complaint had to do with deposits and withdrawals: Consumers reported deposits that were credited late or not at all, checks being damaged during ATM deposits and then processed incorrectly, and employees who failed to help customers stop fraudulent withdrawals. These two categories together have comprised at least two-thirds of all banking complaints in each of the past four years.

See the full report for more details about the analysis and methodology.

Caren Weiner Campbell is a staff writer at NerdWallet. Email: ccampbell@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @ccampbell_nw.

The article Problems With Bank Accounts Go Far Beyond Wells Fargo, Study Shows originally appeared on NerdWallet.

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