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Citizens Bank, PA / illegal account opening practices

1 PA, United States

I worked for Citizens in PA for almost 2 years. Fran, the Bucks County Regional Manager, pushes OD fees EXACTLY as described by many posts.

We were forced to open checking accounts that had excessive overdraft fees and monthly charges in order to ripoff the customers. Here's how:

We had to open accounts, lying to the customers that the account has "no fees" and put specifically designed waivers on the accounts so that the customer doesn't realize the scam (the maximum waiver you could use was for 1 year...)

Then, when the waiver expires months later, the customers have their guard down and they don't obsess with every line on their statements, they get hit by monthly fees that will overdraw the account (as most people keep in their checking account only enough money to cover their checks - that's why it's called a CHECKING account). The overdraft fees will overdraw the account again and again and so will the checks you write believing that your account is still good...

I routinely had customers with hundreds of dollars in fees by the time they received their statement - we were specifically instructed to hit high school kids, college students and senior citizens.

Another trick we had to use is open a "Gold" checking account to senior citizens who would come in and ask for a savings account by using a high interest rate as a carot and not disclosing the fees (using the waivers as noted above). Problem is, that "Gold" checking account had a high-balance requirement and the poor people would be hit by unneccesary monthly fees a few months later...

And to add inslult to injury we even had telemarketing days and evenings when we were forced to make telemarketing calls (disguised as "service calls" so that the bank circumvents the do-not-call registry laws). Not only these were clearly marketing calls (as suggested by the program feeding us the leads!!!) but also we had to open a number of checking accounts over the phone (the daily and weekly targets were set by Fran again, the Regional Manager).

If only homeland security new how many checking accounts Citizens Bank routinely opens over the phone without proper identification or signatures... all the auditors have to do is go to any Bucks County branch towards the end of the day and ask for the signature cards of the checking accounts opened the SAME day to uncover the illegal practice (this way there is no time to mail the signature card and obtain backdated signatures...)

Stay away from Citizens Bank in PA! I quit several years ago and I am still haunted about the things we had to do...

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