New Account - Suspicious!

Posted By: Anonymous

New Account - Suspicious! - 09/14/21 07:09 PM

I feel stoopid asking but.....is it true we can deny an account, or close an account for any reason?

Had a new customer open an account today, and here's what throwing me:

Customer doesn't live in the area
Customer doesn't work in the area
Seemingly, customer has "no business" in the area.
Customer literally had to pass 25 banks to get to ours.
We are not offering any specials, or incentive to open a new account.
Our products mirror products from probably 23 of the 25 banks mentioned.

So why bank with us? I'd love to think it's our awesome customer service, but I sadly think its for another reason(s).

Can I bite the bullet, say oopsie, and close the account?
Posted By: JWills, CRCM

Re: New Account - Suspicious! - 09/14/21 07:26 PM

Did you check with the person who opened the account? Maybe they gave details as to why they opened it with you.
Posted By: Rocky P

Re: New Account - Suspicious! - 09/14/21 07:58 PM

Similar post, especially if you are a new or small bank. Someone with not nice intentions will try to exploit smaller newer banks as they perceive them to not be as sophisticated in operations

https://www.bankersonline.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2259476/re-red-flag-issues#Post2259476
Posted By: Justin Case

Re: New Account - Suspicious! - 09/14/21 08:46 PM

As far as closing the account, check your Account Agreement to make sure that it states the account may be closed at any time (or similar language). Then follow your procedure for force closing accounts.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: New Account - Suspicious! - 09/15/21 08:30 PM

Anotha Anon: A credit union may have considerably more difficulty ditching an undesired account, but at a bank it's whatever your terms & conditions say. Ours is basically "upon reasonable notice" so we give consumers 30 days, businesses 90 days. Consumers are given a little more time (60 days, I think) if they are regularly receiving federal benefits into it, such as social security payments.

I'd also recommend you confer with your BSA Officer on such matters, as, depending on the nature of the suspicions and possibly depending on the dollar amount involved, you may already have a requirement for BSA to file a SAR, even if you close it quickly.
Posted By: madukes

Re: New Account - Suspicious! - 09/20/21 06:03 PM

We've been getting account openings online from all over the country; we monitor our mobile deposits so if we see an account opened out of the service area; no opening deposit and then after 30 or so days all of a sudden depositing large checks; we accept and place an extended hold. I'd say in 7 out of 10 cases the item is returned as fraudulent; out of the remaining 3 probably one is still open; the other 2 closed by account owner (I guess they didn't like the holds)
Posted By: rlcarey

Re: New Account - Suspicious! - 09/20/21 07:32 PM

Just goes to show that for a normal brick and mortar branch.bank, allowing out of area accounts to be opened on line is a money losing proposition.
Posted By: madukes

Re: New Account - Suspicious! - 09/20/21 08:18 PM

I agree! Who would want an account at a bank across the country?
Posted By: HappyGilmore

Re: New Account - Suspicious! - 09/20/21 08:19 PM

Originally Posted by madukes
I agree! Who would want an account at a bank across the country?
someone intent on committing fraud
Posted By: InFairness, CRCM

Re: New Account - Suspicious! - 09/21/21 01:04 PM

Originally Posted by HappyGilmore
Originally Posted by madukes
I agree! Who would want an account at a bank across the country?
someone intent on committing fraud


Or someone seeking higher interest rates, although that is obviously only a potential reason if the bank in question actually offers above market interest rates.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: New Account - Suspicious! - 09/22/21 06:58 PM

I hate online accounts.

I feel like they should be handled as a completely different beast.
Posted By: Rocky P

Re: New Account - Suspicious! - 09/22/21 09:52 PM

There are some internet only banks. One of the most creative is www.redneck.bank
Posted By: Richard Insley

Re: New Account - Suspicious! - 09/22/21 11:50 PM

Originally Posted by madukes
I agree! Who would want an account at a bank across the country?
Someone who doesn't want to be seen or appear on security camera recordings.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: New Account - Suspicious! - 09/23/21 05:40 PM

A different anon says:

This may be a bit off-topic but I want to mention that I see a lot of suspicion here about online accounts at brick and mortar banks, and I wonder if some of it could be a little overzealous or unfounded. As a banker, I can agree that a great many online applications are made with fraudulent intent (maybe 70%, has been my experience, at a b&m bank). But I don't think that the very first reaction to someone banking across the country from where they live should be that they are probably a criminal or fraudster, etc.

I personally have accounts as follows. I make an in-person appearance at a branch probably once every 2 or 3 years, if that; at most places where I bank, they've never seen me and never will. With modern options like online banking, debit cards, credit cards, online bill pay, and even online loan apps should you need a loan, there's just no reason for me to need to go inside a branch and wait in line to chat with a banker who may or may not be the right person for what I need. My accounts look something like:

1. Local Bank A: A savings account where I work, seldom touched.
2. Nearby Bank B: Still have a checking account at a bank in a city 30 minutes away, because I opened it back when I worked in that city and it has always been a convenient bank. Keep a few bucks in there in case of emergencies, can get cash locally, quickly.
3. Local Bank C: Two checking accounts at a nearby institution that has the lowest fees of any in the area; one checking is for bills, and the other one is my spouse's day-to-day account. Also have several savings accounts there earmarked for specific savings goals (college, etc.).
4. Big IRA Investment Company D Retirement account at an institution located 1,000 miles away, maintained there due to best service, lowest fees, etc.
5. Big IRA Investment Company E Another retirement account from years prior, at an institution located on the other side of the country, maintained there because it's easier than moving it and they would charge a big fee for transferring it elsewhere.
6. Big IRA Investment Company F Another retirement account from years prior, at an institution located on the other side of the country, maintained there because they charge huge fees for closing or transferring balance.
7. Big Investment Company G Company 401(k) handled by yet another institution, also 1,000 miles away.
8. Megabank G. Three older certificates of deposits at yet another institution on the other side of the country, opened online because they had the best rates at that time.
9. Megabank H. Primary credit card, due to low rate with high rewards.
10. Megabank I. Backup credit card.
11. Regional Bank J Additional credit card at a smaller bank 750 miles away, chosen due to lowest APR in the country.

I have never appeared in person at institutions #3 through 11, having had no or desire need to do so. In the past I've also had a primary checking and savings at a bank located in another region of the world (with branches in the US), because they were offering crazy high rewards for basic checking.

Basically I've tried to maximize all possible rewards/benefits by getting the lowest APR, the highest APY and the most lucrative rewards options everywhere I bank. I couldn't care less if my bank is located in New York City or Miami or 7 minutes from my home.

The only downside to this approach is it is a little complicated for estate planning. I hate to think that if something happened to me, my spouse would have to try to figure out how to handle all this banking at so many different places, jumping through all the identity verification hoops and figuring out what to do next with each account. So for estate planning purposes I've been simplifying for the past year or so, reducing my total bank count from 16 to 11, and I plan to get it down to about 5 as soon as I can. Am seriously considering switching it all to be local options only, to make it as easy as possible for my spouse to take over one day.

Anyway my point is that smart shoppers, frugal people, people interested in maximizing their efficiency and profit, will often bank and numerous banks, regardless of where they are located, in order to maximize their own rewards and convenience.
Posted By: RockChucker, CAMS

Re: New Account - Suspicious! - 09/23/21 06:05 PM

To me it sounds like your arguments are spot on with those who you disagree with unless I am missing something major.
The people on here that are "suspicious" about online opened accounts appear to me to be community banks and they are really only suspicious about people opening accounts with them when they are way outside their market place.
Your banks 1-3 are local/nearby banks and sound like community banks. The other accounts you have opened are with specialty firms (IRA/Investment) or megabanks. The term megabank to me usually means they have locations over a large swath of the country and have top of the line processes to catch/eliminate fraud.
Now if you had opened an account with a small bank on the other side of the country where you had nothing to draw you there, then you would have some supporting activity that aligns with your argument.
Please don't take this as an attack or anything I just fail to see how you are supporting your argument.
Posted By: madukes

Re: New Account - Suspicious! - 09/23/21 06:08 PM

Bingo! But we still allow them.
Posted By: madukes

Re: New Account - Suspicious! - 09/23/21 06:11 PM

That's correct; it's not like we are offering stellar rates on deposits or loans which would entice out of market customers and we are talking about people opening accounts online and then waiting (sometimes 2-3 months) before ever making a deposit. We had one person actually attempt to do a mobile deposit of a check payable to someone else with a different bank's mobile endorsement on it (plus it was almost a year old)..