Since I’ve spent so much time complaining about banks lately, I thought I’d highlight a bank that’s got it’s act together.
Premier West Bank is a bank that’s local to Oregon and Northern California. They’re actually based right here in Jackson County, Oregon, which makes them a local favorite.
My mom banks at PremierWest, and recently she had a banking horror story that was eerily similar to what I’ve just gone through with Chase.
Her employer was in the midst of laying people off. Her job was on the line, but her manager decided to keep her. Unfortunately, the corporate offices didn’t get that memo.
One day my mom woke up, checked her bank balance, and there was a large amount of money deposited into her account from her employer. Her manager was not in the office, so my mom transferred the money to her savings account, so it wouldn’t get intermingled with her living expenses as she investigated.
When she talked to her manager, she discovered that the money was a severance package, mistakenly deposited into her account. The transaction would be reversed shortly, but my mom was assured she had time to transfer the money back to her checking account.
Unfortunately she was told wrong. Before the money was transferred back to her checking account, the severance payment was reversed. My mom had several transactions go through, and not enough funds to cover them. She incurred a total of $144 in overdraft fees.
She walked into our local PremierWest bank and politely asked to speak to a manager. The manager listened, understood, and credited back all the overdraft fees right away.
Later that week, my mom was contacted by her apartment manager about the rent check she had bounced due to the mess. The check had never been returned to the apartment manager. My mom wrote a different check, but was concerned that somehow the first check would be found and sent through also.
My mom headed back to the bank, and explained the situation. The branch manager stopped payment on the rent check, since nobody could find it, and even paid the stop payment fee.
Both times she was in the bank less than 5 minutes, before the problems were fixed.
It’s refreshing to see a bank that can handle complicated situations quickly. It’s encouraging to see a bank that treats it’s customers like people. Instead of being a slave to the fee schedule, this bank chooses to look at individual circumstances before making a judgment call.
In my searching around for local banks, this one tops my list. The only thing that makes me hesitate is that Bankrate’s Safe & Sound Rating System only gives PremierWest two stars. As far as I could tell, that’s the same rating given to every locally-based bank around here, except the credit union. Our credit union only received one star. I have some thinking to do.
If you like this article, please sign up for free weekly email updates.
I'm just an average mom, trying to live a frugal life and get out of debt. I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.
In accordance with FTC guidelines, I state that I have a financial relationship with companies mentioned in this website. This may include receiving access to free products and services for product and service reviews and giveaways.
Any references to third party products, rates, or websites are subject to change without notice. I do my best to maintain current information, but due to the rapidly changing environment, some information may have changed since it was published. Please do the appropriate research before participating in any third party offers.