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Bank teller asks the wrong question
Old 03-10-2023, 04:50 AM   #1
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Bank teller asks the wrong question

After spending 2 hours sitting with a WF banker spread across 2 days and 3 visits to the local branch to settle our 3-way joint accounts following mom's passing (road block after road block for what should have been a simple account re-titling), the WF accounts were closed and all funds given to me in cashiers checks. I drove from the WF branch directly to our BofA branch to immediately deposit them, not wanting to have that amount of cash in my possession.

Generally, I would simply deposit through the mobile app, or through the ATM. However, again, due to the amounts and that they were cashiers checks, I instead opted to go in, fill out the deposit slip, hand to the teller, and get a receipt.

The teller says, "Mr. njhowie, I see you're depositing this to your checking account. Do you have any plans for this money"? Taken aback, bewildered that the teller was being so nonchalant and blunt, I politely and calmly replied, "That's none of your business". She says "Sorry"? I politely and calmly repeated myself for her.

Is this typical for other folks that still walk into their local bank?
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Old 03-10-2023, 05:00 AM   #2
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Yes, it is a typical question that a teller would ask. A banker friend explained to me that bank employees are given bonuses for "new money" brought into their branch, and hopefully for longer term deposits than your checking account.
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Old 03-10-2023, 05:15 AM   #3
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The teller at Bank Of America did the same thing when my uncle and I finally sold the old family homestead. Rather than having the money wired, we just got cashier's checks at settlement, and deposited them. I think they ask that question, if it's a large deposit, because they trying to steer you into something that might pay better interest, like a CD or something. Or push you off on their Merrill Lynch people.

I don't think there's necessarily anything nosy, or underhanded about it. However, it's understandable that the teller's tone or wording caught you off guard. Plus, dealing with something like this after a loved one's passing, isn't exactly a happy moment in your life. In our case, I was almost euphoric after getting that house off of my back, and having that check in my hand.

Back in 2017, when I was settling the finances after my Dad died, I had to meet a few people face-to-face for transactions. I can't remember the exact wording, but I do remember most of them asking me, in one tactful way or another, if I needed any assistance with what to do with the money.

I think it's just something they're trained to do, with large transactions, face to face. Of course, how they phrase it can make all the difference in the world.
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Old 03-10-2023, 05:24 AM   #4
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Almost 20 years ago, we were about to commence a major house renovation/addition project and had been accumulating money in our checking account to pay for it. I was in the bank to deposit a tax refund check when the teller looked at the six figure balance in our checking account and asked me if I might want to talk to their investment division. I thought it was a reasonable question and was not at all offended. I just thanked her and said no, because I would soon be spending almost all of it.
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Old 03-10-2023, 05:34 AM   #5
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They were trying to get you to speak with someone in the investment department.
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Old 03-10-2023, 05:44 AM   #6
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Tellers are sales people. In fact they’re often under quite a bit of pressure to sell with quotas and performance goals. Investment services, credit cards, loans, etc. Their job is to push those products on the customers. Taking your deposit or distributing your withdrawal is not their main job as far as the bank is concerned.
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Old 03-10-2023, 05:59 AM   #7
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According to a neighbor, the pressure on tellers is ridiculous. Almost like a call center - metrics, metrics, metrics. Can't hit target for opening new accounts if every customer appearing at your window that month is already a customer, right? Wrong! Get them to open more accounts! You're supposed to have 3 referrals to the investment group every month.

That's what OP encountered. Some poor teller desperate to make referral quota. Not their fault. They are badgered like crazy to get those referrals. It's worse now since many customers never set foot in an actual branch, it's all online. Opportunities are few and far between.
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Old 03-10-2023, 06:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SonofCohoes View Post
They were trying to get you to speak with someone in the investment department.
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by prudent_one View Post
According to a neighbor, the pressure on tellers is ridiculous. Almost like a call center - metrics, metrics, metrics. Can't hit target for opening new accounts if every customer appearing at your window that month is already a customer, right? Wrong! Get them to open more accounts! You're supposed to have 3 referrals to the investment group every month.

That's what OP encountered. Some poor teller desperate to make referral quota. Not their fault. They are badgered like crazy to get those referrals. It's worse now since many customers never set foot in an actual branch, it's all online. Opportunities are few and far between.

My brother told me that his friend who was a pharmacist at a drugstore chain was under pressure to get customers vaccinated. And they had a quota he had to meet.

When we were at the local Walmart recently to pick up a prescription, the clerk asked us if we were up-to-date on vaccination. This reminded us that we needed to take the Shingrix, which was $200 last year but is now free under some law changes regarding Medicare.

So, it is not all bad when they ask. Heh heh heh...
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Old 03-10-2023, 06:28 AM   #9
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I suspect that BoA teller would have inquired about investing some of that money. They are really pushing to expand their investment business. Sorry for your loss. These kinds of hassles are probably the last thing you want to deal with in your time of grief.
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Old 03-10-2023, 06:38 AM   #10
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Hindsight is 20/20. I think a "Why do you ask?" may have been more beneficial for you.
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Old 03-10-2023, 07:06 AM   #11
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Yes, that's not unusual. It seems to happen when they see a six figure balance. I took the bait one time - the investment person tried to sell me an annuity.
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Old 03-10-2023, 07:06 AM   #12
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I've gotten that question pretty much any time I've manually made a large deposit at my credit union. The discussion is usually about whether you want to move some amount of the money into a CD if you don't think you need it right away. It's a sales pitch, not an attempt to pry.

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Old 03-10-2023, 07:11 AM   #13
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I agree that it was most likely a motivation to "help" you invest it, but could it also have been to see if you were about to be a scam victim? Maybe you have that check from taking out a home equity loan and are about to send it to Janessa in Brazil (an actual character made up by scam artists who has bilked many, according to a BBC podcast).

The banks near me are so clueless I wouldn't invest a dime with them- have dealt with them only as Treasurer of a couple of nonprofits. That was enough. B of A can't even be bothered to have a notary on the premises in our local branch anymore.
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Old 03-10-2023, 07:11 AM   #14
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Hindsight is 20/20. I think a "Why do you ask?" may have been more beneficial for you.
I actually thought of asking that, but as others have posted, the reason was quite obvious, to attempt to sell me other bank products. However, there was really no need to continue a discussion that had zero chance of going anywhere or wasting any more of my time. Shutting it down immediately was the best approach.
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Old 03-10-2023, 07:14 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by njhowie View Post
After spending 2 hours sitting with a WF banker spread across 2 days and 3 visits to the local branch to settle our 3-way joint accounts following mom's passing (road block after road block for what should have been a simple account re-titling), the WF accounts were closed and all funds given to me in cashiers checks. I drove from the WF branch directly to our BofA branch to immediately deposit them, not wanting to have that amount of cash in my possession.

Generally, I would simply deposit through the mobile app, or through the ATM. However, again, due to the amounts and that they were cashiers checks, I instead opted to go in, fill out the deposit slip, hand to the teller, and get a receipt.

The teller says, "Mr. njhowie, I see you're depositing this to your checking account. Do you have any plans for this money"? Taken aback, bewildered that the teller was being so nonchalant and blunt, I politely and calmly replied, "That's none of your business". She says "Sorry"? I politely and calmly repeated myself for her.

Is this typical for other folks that still walk into their local bank?
Yes, it is typical. It gets more typical if you need to sit with the bank rep to do whatever is required.
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Old 03-10-2023, 07:18 AM   #16
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Pretty typical IME for them to ask. I actually told a teller once that I was going to use some of the money to buy a Bugatti. She just smiled "like" she knew what I was talking about... Maybe she did.
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Bank teller asks the wrong question
Old 03-10-2023, 07:19 AM   #17
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Bank teller asks the wrong question

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Originally Posted by njhowie View Post
After spending 2 hours sitting with a WF banker spread across 2 days and 3 visits to the local branch to settle our 3-way joint accounts following mom's passing (road block after road block for what should have been a simple account re-titling), the WF accounts were closed and all funds given to me in cashiers checks. I drove from the WF branch directly to our BofA branch to immediately deposit them, not wanting to have that amount of cash in my possession.

Generally, I would simply deposit through the mobile app, or through the ATM. However, again, due to the amounts and that they were cashiers checks, I instead opted to go in, fill out the deposit slip, hand to the teller, and get a receipt.

The teller says, "Mr. njhowie, I see you're depositing this to your checking account. Do you have any plans for this money"? Taken aback, bewildered that the teller was being so nonchalant and blunt, I politely and calmly replied, "That's none of your business". She says "Sorry"? I politely and calmly repeated myself for her.

Is this typical for other folks that still walk into their local bank?


This is pretty normal. Surprised you got offended. Every time I have a large deposit/wire transfer made to my bank account, without fail I receive a call from an Investment Manager offering me some product or the other. Thatís what they do. Nothing personal. Just business.
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Old 03-10-2023, 07:25 AM   #18
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I would've taken it for an awkward preface to "Just want to be sure you are aware that there is a five days hold on amounts over $10k."
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Old 03-10-2023, 07:31 AM   #19
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This is pretty normal. Surprised you got offended. Every time I have a large deposit/wire transfer made to my bank account, without fail I receive a call from an Investment Manager offering me some product or the other. Thatís what they do. Nothing personal. Just business.
Yes, I was offended, as is clear. The teller could have, for example, simply handed me their wealth manager's business card along with my deposit receipt. The same message would have been communicated, in a non-invasive manner.
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Old 03-10-2023, 07:34 AM   #20
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Last year, as the bank rep was screwing up a re-titling of a joint account, he noted that we had a lot of cash in one checking account, and that he could have an advisor call us for free suggestions.

I responded in several sentences about how we transfer excess cash to Discover Bank or elsewhere, for more interest. I also reminded him of the interest spread at that time. But it did not deflect his purpose, and he went on with the pitch.
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