BBVA Compass Branch Manager Retaliates Against Elderly Customer Via Trying to Have State Agency Deem Her Incompetent on Fabricated Grounds

Even in the world of all-too-common bank abuses, some acts are completely beyond the pale.

As the correspondence below shows, BBVA Compass branch manager (more formally, “Vice President and Branch Retail Executive”) Jarred Edwards tried to intimidate and discredit my mother via an utterly unheard of and unwarranted gambit, namely, instigating an unannounced home visit by a state social services official to assess her competence. This has all the earmarks of retaliation for my mother having the temerity to submit written instructions via certified mail to him. Note that she had to send these letters to “Branch Manager” since he never gave his name to her any of the times he called her.

Apparently, Jarred Edward is so incapable of writing or so unable to justify his decisions that her perfectly reasonable request generated a vicious response. When instead of responding in writing to her letter as required, he improperly called my mother, she sent a second letter reiterating her instructions and also started documenting his aggressive and unprofessional behavior. It appears that building a file on Mr. Edwards is what led him to try to cow and discredit my mother by sending a state agency after her. Those of you who have met her at meetups know she is sharp as a tack.

Admittedly, on the outrage spectrum, after 9 million post-crisis foreclosures, roughly one in every six home with a mortgage, the idea of a banker abusing his authority by calling a state agency on a 91 (now 92) year old woman in a futile attempt to deem her incompetent to discredit her complaint, may seem like small beer.

But every person who has heard this story so far, from Birmingham-based executives and lawyers, other bankers, former state prosecutors, police sergeants, and current and former state officials, has been shocked and appalled. None of them has heard of a remotely similar instance of a bank officer in his official capacity filing a false report against a long-standing bank client to salvage his personal reputation.

Even with other bank misconduct, like foreclosures when the borrower should have been able to keep his home with a reasonable modification and abusive student loan servicing, the bank had an institutional motive, namely profit or even simple bureaucratic inertia. Here, as the record shows, Jarred Edwards of BBVA Compass had to go out of his way to call in the dogs. It’s almost certain that there’s no three-ring binder at BBVA Compass that codifies this malicious course of action. If there is, more senior heads than his need to roll.

This sort of abuse of agencies that provide child and adult protective services is apparently common; the officer who visited my mother said her bureau gets many filings where it becomes obvious the allegations are fabricated and the motive is obviously spite or revenge. I have to think this is not infrequent in ugly divorces where parents don’t have the money to duke it out through lawyers. If any readers know of cases of malicious filings with local or state protective services, please pipe up in comments. I’d like to see if I can get enough insight and leads to work this up into a New York Magazine piece.

As for why my mother does not simply change banks, first, up until this set of incidents with Jarred Edwards, she has had excellent service from BBVA Compass and enjoyed  good personal relationships with all the local branch staff. She remains hopeful that the bank will do the right thing. Second, switching banks would not be the course of least resistance. She has quite a few bills on auto-pay and gets her Social Security payments deposited at BBVA Compass. Going to a new bank would be stressful and risks something going awry.

Below is the text of the letter to relevant BBVA Compass executives e-mailed earlier today; it also includes the original, non-scrubbed earlier correspondence as attachments.

* * *

November 27, 2019

VIA CERTIFIED MAIL

Ms. Andrea Smith
Chief Executive Officer of Birmingham Market
BBVA Compass
15 South 20th Street
Birmingham, AL 35233

Re: Abusive, dishonest conduct by your Crestline branch manager Jarred Edwards, including false and retaliatory report to the Department of Human Resources & Civil Rights; failure to implement written customer instructions or respond in writing as required by law

Dear Ms. Smith:

I am Marian C. Webber of XXXXX. My checking account number is XXXXXXXX. I have been a customer of your Crestline branch at 117 Euclid Avenue in Mountain Brook for over thirty years

I planned to write you about the rude behavior and appalling advice of your new branch manager Jarred Edwards regardless, but his conduct has now gone completely outside any acceptable bounds that it forces me to write a much sterner letter.

Because I am handicapped, have great difficulty walking, and took a bad fall when getting into a car, for the last few years, when I have needed to withdraw cash, I have written a check to myself, endorsed it, and had an agent, usually a home health care aide but sometimes my daughter, go to the Crestline branch and cash it.  There was never any difficulty until early November, when Mr. Edwards refused to cash a check despite this being a well-established practice and harangued my agent, a home health care aide.

I called to protest, and my daughter happened to be present, so she and the home health care aide were witnesses (I put all calls on speakerphone to improve the sound quality). Mr. Edwards offered implausible pretexts (the Patriot Act, whose anti-money laundering provisions apply to correspondent and foreign accounts, and deposits, not withdrawals). Even worse, he offered recommendations that should disqualify him from working in banking. He suggested that I put my home health care aide on my bank account or that I get a debit card and let her make ATM withdrawals. As I am sure you know, caregivers all too often steal from their employers.  Financial experts and lawyers forcefully recommend keeping them well away from banking accounts. Mr. Edwards instead insisted I put myself in a position to be victimized.

Mr. Edwards also suggested I make checks out to the home health care aide for her to cash. My daughter objected, saying that the agency’s contract expressly forbade that, plus the aide would have the right to the money and would not be obligated to turn it over to me. She also explained I cannot make checks out to her because as the executor of my estate, she cannot risk being construed to have pilfered my funds.

I again attempted to have a check cashed a few days later. After a second strenuous conversation, Mr. Edwards said he would cash this check but not any others. Note that he had still not offered any valid reason for his refusal.

I then sent the letter of November 8 by certified mail, attached, giving written instructions that addressed what could be his only legitimate objection, and one he had never made, of a “Know Your Customer” concern. As you can see, following the instructions would remedy that problem and not be administratively burdensome.

As my letter of November 14  (also sent certified mail) describes in detail, Mr. Edwards refused to provide a written response as required if he did not intend to comply with my instructions, and called instead.  When the home health care aide said I was not available, he rejected her suggestion to call back, attempted to dictate to her, and was aggressive and rude to her and my daughter, as the letter explains in more detail.

I sent another certified letter on November 21 since the matter was still unresolved and I was in need of obtaining cash.

Apparently to try to discredit and intimidate me, Mr. Edwards took the outrageous step of retaliating by calling the Department of Human Resources & Civil Rights (DHRCR). I cannot believe this is an authorized measure in any of your corporate policies.

Even though the DHRCR officer, Ms. Tammie Godfrey, would not name the source, the false and abusive report clearly originated with Mr. Edwards. On November 25, Ms. Godfrey said the call came from a bank and involved my checking account. BBVA Compass is my only bank. My letters documented Mr. Edwards’ poor conduct and reckless advice. My previous correspondence, had Mr. Edwards presented it to anyone in authority, would show that attempting to depict me as not competent is ludicrous.

Ms. Godfrey, who said she would be closing the file, also confirmed that Mr. Edwards’ advice to put the home health care aide on my checking account or give her a debit card for ATM withdrawals was unconscionable. She literally recoiled in her seat when I recounted his recommendation. She restated what is common knowledge: that home health care aides often defraud their employers.  My daughter and home health care aide were present during Ms. Godfrey’s visit and can corroborate what she said.

Ms. Godfrey also confirmed that the DHRCR receives many false allegations that were clearly filed as retaliation.

As you must recognize, it is impossible to reconcile Mr. Edward’s actions with your official standards, set forth here: (https://www.bbvausa.com/content/dam/bbva/usa/en/pdf/corporateresponsibility/annualreport_2017.pdf):

The customer comes first.

This is our primary focus. This means that we are empathetic: we factor in the client’s point of view by putting ourselves in their shoes from the beginning, so we can understand their needs better. It means that we have integrity: everything we do is legal, publishable, and morally acceptable by society because we always put the customer’s interests first. And it means we meet their needs: we are fast, agile and decisive when it comes to solving a customer’s problems and we do everything possible to overcome any obstacles in our way.

I do not see how BBVA Compass can tolerate Mr. Edwards’ behavior. He has repeatedly demonstrated that he lacks the personal maturity and emotional self-control to be in a customer-facing role and represents a risk to your bank’s reputation. Frankly, I believe I am entitled to compensation for his self-serving, abusive conduct that caused me considerable distress and also wasted a lot of my daughter’s highly valuable time.  She is so outraged by his incompetence and vengefulness that she is likely to either post about this incident on her website, which gets 1.5 million page view a month and is described as influential by virtue of having a strong following among financial regulators, Congressional staffers, and journalists, and possibly also use it as the “story hook” for a New York Magazine article, where she is overdue to submit stories.

At a minimum, I expect a written apology and to have my instructions of November 8 implemented. If turnover in that branch is so high that it might be a nuisance to keep informing new staffers, I suggest sending me a letter on BBVA Compass letterhead confirming the check-cashing arrangement that my daughter can present when she goes to the branch.  I trust I will hear from you no later than December 10.

Sincerely,

Marian C. Webber

Enclosures
CC: Ed Bilek, EVP, Investor Relations
B. Shane Clanton, General Counsel and Secretary
Çagri Süzer, Head of Retail Banking

00 BBVA Compass Marian C. Webber November 8 scrubbed
00 BBVA Compass Marian Webber November 14 scrubbed
00 BBVA Compass Nov 21 Chaser Letter scrubbed
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110 comments

  1. Peter from Georgia

    Three months after I filed for divorce from my (now ex) wife and the mother of our two primary school children, “someone” filed a report with the department of family and children services that alleged, as we later determined, that my mother (the children’s grandmother and occasional after school child care provider) was teaching my daughter to molest my son. It is a reprehensible charge and one without any basis. I was shaking at the accusation alleged after I got off the phone with investigating officer.

    As a result, over the next few weeks: (1) I was interviewed, with my attorney, by a police officer with the county’s sex crimes unit; (2) my children were interviewed in my home, with their attorney, for approximately 2 hours by an experienced investigator from the Dept. of Family and Children Services; (3) my mother, my two aunts (also occasional caretakers), and I were interviewed in my home by the same investigator, for approximately 90 minutes. One month later we received a letter noting the investigation determined that the allegations were “unsubstantiated.”

    During my interview I asked the investigator, a hardened African-American woman with approximately twenty years experience in her position, about the idea that the allegations were false and used by one party for an advantage during a divorce. She sighed a long sigh and, in a frank moment, told me she estimated about 1/3 of the complaints she investigates were unfounded lies used by one party to jockey for a better custody position in a divorce.

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith Post author

      What a horrific story. Thanks for being willing to share it. I imagine it’s upsetting to think about it even now.

      Even though my mother’s situation is a pale shadow of what happened to you, she and I still feel violated by the experience. I was so outraged that I found it difficult to function for six hours, which given that ten minutes is a lot of time for me, was a real loss, and in trying to function and make some calls, really did not perform well. And I’ve been distracted since then. This is even more distressing to my mother, since older people are regularly having their boundaries violated by virtue of needing to rely more on others and those other often not doing things the way they’d want them done out of inability, inattention, or laziness. She’s also traumatized by the fear he could file another spurious allegation and put her through this again….and if someone came on a day when her hearing aids were shot (she needs to get an entire new unit from her doctor when the batteries go), she’s worried her inability to hear could be misconstrued as cognitive impairment.

      And to add insult to injury, this happened the week of her birthday and casts a pall over it.

      Reply
      1. Yves your mom

        You are a fool. If a bank cashed checks for someone else even though they were made out to your mother, you’d be the first to complain if it were not legitimate. Change to any bank you want to, no bank will do this without proper authorization on file…such as a power of attorney! You can have a thesaurus on hand to generate some fill-in-the-blank “stern” letter, you’re still a moron behind a computer screen.

        Reply
        1. Clive

          Yves is not asking for a check to be cashed payable to her mother by an unspecified third party. Yves is asking for a check to be cashed payable to her mother who her mother has negotiated to a third party whom her mother has nominated. If you cannot understand why this makes all the difference to what is being requested of BBVA Compass, you have disqualified yourself from making any valid comments on this subject.

          A Power of Attorney is only one mechanism by which a customer can give an instruction to a bank. But there are many other methods of giving a bank an instruction. A simple letter will suffice. There’s a tonne of case law which say that banks must honour customer mandates unless there is a valid reason why they cannot. A bank cannot simply — arbitrarily — decide what customer instructions it will follow and what ones it will just ignore or refuse.

          I’ll pass over your crude ad hominem attack on Yves because you’re making yourself look moronic by what you are suggesting she do (or refrain from doing). You postulate that Yves should not ask BBVA Compass to justify its actions, or lack of action. You impute her intellectual ability in her deciding to do so. But Yves is perfectly entitled to demand that BBVA Compass stipulate what policy is being used to deny her request. If there is no such policy, or there is a policy which the bank is using way beyond its intended scope, the bank is in the wrong and Yves is in the right.

          Moreover, even if BBVA Compass does have such a broadly worded policy which it could cite to defend its behaviour, this does not mean that such a policy — and the ability of BBVA to slap whatever interpretation it chose to put on it, just because it has tilted the playing field so far in its favour by implementing such “gotcha” Terms and Conditions — is good behaviour.

          Which, then, begs the question, why are you defending the indefensible?

          Reply
          1. Yves Smith Post author

            It turns out this comment comes from someone with an IP address in Montevallo, AL. That’s in Shelby County, just south of Jefferson County….and just a bit over a half-hour drive from the branch.

            I’d hazard this is Jarred Edwards yet again showing his lack of judgement and self control.

            Reply
    2. Ignacio

      Hooo boy!
      Apart from your awful personal experience on this, what the hell of useless amount of dirty work, resources, energy and time wasted. Could false allegations be demonstrated and result on a fine? –with the corresponding and probably worthless effort and time, resources etc. wasted again–

      Reply
    3. L

      I’m sorry to hear that. Someone I know was dealing with the consequences of something similar. Her niece was forced to move in the middle of the night with her two children (one of them autistic) because she was receiving monthly sometimes weekly visits thanks to anonymous reports about her care of them. Each and every one was deemed baseless but someone, they still don’t know who, chose to make them constantly as a mechanism for annoyance or revenge. Being a single mother is hard enough without someone teeing off on you out of spite.

      Reply
    4. Felix_47

      I had that sort of accusation in a contentious divorce. As a licensed professional in Ca I did not want to take the risk so I stopped visitation for the next ten years until she went to college.. I have remained out of my kids lives. My attorney told me that is SOP in Ca especially high earners where a lot of child support is on the line. Her lawyer was an aggressive female. I advise my friends going through the process now to not seek custody. . Look at the ex as an expensive nanny. It is not worth the fight and legal and forensic fees. And even a history of an investigation on ones record can ruin a career.

      Reply
    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      Yup, messed with the wrong person’s mama, and evidently that apple didn’t fall far from the tree!!

      Oh to be a fly on the wall…we should start a calling campaign to said employer heh

      Reply
  2. Sam Adams

    If you’re truly interested In elder abuse, try Looking into the NYS incompetency proceedings and the lawyers who make bank there. Very profitable, small bar and lots of grift. There have been many articles over the years.

    Reply
  3. vlade

    This is frankly appaling – and evil. But let’s start from the start.

    The advice he gave is beyond dumb. I do wonder if he would be liable (as “bank officer” he’s supposed to be a person of trust, certainly in the UK courts would look at it as such, and I suspect could find himself negligent) if your mother did this and was defrauded.

    BTW, in the UK I believe all over-the-phone client conversations with bank staff are recorded, so I suspect this is actually on the record?

    Then calling the agency – well, I understand that the agency has to go and check, but I’d like to see what did he sent in as the justifiaction. It clearly could not have been “the lady wants to have a cheque cashed by her daughter”. I assume, from the agency perspective, that again, it’d be recorded somewhere (to meet some threshold criteria I guess), to try to prevent using the agency as a revenge instrument easily.

    If that exists, it’d be possible to either show the guy is a liar, or, at the most generous interpretation, has not enough judgement to be in any senior role. A few years as a teller might get him back into proper customer facing mindset?

    TBH, if the guy thinks he can do this to your mother, I shudder to think how he treats his reports who have way less leverage.

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I was so upset by the process (I was fortunately in the house and so was a party to the talk with Ms. Godfrey, who was very professional, from the very outset, that I can’t recall precisely all of what she said when I asked who had initiated her visit.

      The part I am not 100% sure about is I think she said the bank said they were having trouble reaching her by phone. This is utterly false since there was no voicemail from BBVA Compass after the conversation on November 14 when Jarred Edwards hung up on me. Moreover, neither my mother nor any of her aides, who are there most of the day, heard a call come from BBVA with a hangup before the voicemail message finished (my mother’s phone reads out the caller ID or if there is none, the phone number) after November 14. Finally, the certified mail of November 21 shows that my mother was still communicating with the bank and that Jarred Edwards needed to reply in writing.

      Reply
  4. Clive

    While I’ve seen pretty much everything in my over thirty years in financial services, this has to be — in terms of flagrant abusing of customers on an individual, personal level as opposed to just a systematic but widespread and generic basis such as foreclosure fraud — about the worst I’ve ever seen.

    It is not, unfortunately, an isolated incident. What I want to draw readers’ attention to is the increasingly tolerance of this kind of customer victimisation which is almost getting to the rampantly common stage in financial services and insurance (plus their close relations in utility and cable/mobile phone companies and the like).

    Why is this not only happening but tolerated and persistent? It is because, increasingly, there is a growing group of customers who are (to use an industry insider phrase) “bank prisoners”.

    Think you can leave your bank and follow through with the ultimate free-market sanction which is to take your business elsewhere? Think again. Banks have exploited often well enough intentioned Know Your Customer regulation and tightening of credit-worthiness checks to keep significant numbers of their customers captive. The banks — and their employees — are fully aware of this. All too often, this class of locked-in customers gets this sort of casual roughing up if they dare to assert their right to be treated fairly.

    Unless you have a perfect credit score, you can legitimately be declined banking facilities if you try to open a checking account or get a credit card. A bank can demand an onerous level of documentation too — six months bank statements (originals, not copies or print outs), two different proofs of address (again, original correspondence, not print outs), two forms of ID including a passport or photo driving licence. With so many companies nudging their customers into having paperless billing, statements and correspondence, this is no longer a case of having a rummage around in your filing. And especially for people under 30 living in cities, it is not a given you’ll have a driving licence which is current for your location and with rental accommodation often necessitating moves every couple of years or so, building up a minimum of six months fixed residency is not the given it was twenty or even ten years ago.

    And it might surprise you to learn that those in the worst position to try to move away from an institution which is not even trying to play fair, like BBVA Compass, is if you’re older and don’t use credit. While your credit profile won’t have any dinks for late or missed payments, you will not have a credit history which demonstrates adherence to a repayment schedule. This happened to both my mother-in-law who could only get a discount on a new vehicle purchase if she took out a personal contract loan/lease. Whether it was her age or lack of credit history which scuppered her, she was declined credit — and cash no longer qualified for a discount given today’s finance-based car sales market. Similarly, I applied for a zero rate credit card as I had to purchase kitchen units, counter-top and electrical goods for a remodel and figured that six months at a zero interest rate might just enable me to get the better of big finance for once. Nope. I got declined — despite having sufficient balance maintained in my checking account at all times to clear the credit card outstanding balance immediately if needed. I checked the reason for my being declined, it was simply that there was insufficient data on my credit profile to get over the credit scoring tripwire.

    I was not in the least surprised to read Yves’ horror story above, therefore. Few who work in retail banking now fail to appreciate how captive a lot of their customers are. Most will still try to do a good job and be helpful, especially in circumstances where a customer needs a little goodwill or assistance, as here. But all it takes is one little Napoleon — as Yves tells us of in this situation — and an incipient latent bully personality has just found their latest bit of amusement. I can virtually guarantee that if Yves’ mother did try to move her account, she’d face considerable obstacles to providing the new bank with what they’d demand in documentation. Even if she cleared this hurdle, there’s a very high chance she’d lack a robust credit use history to get checking account facilities, at least initially.

    And, of course, as Yves says, what about the hassle factor and the aggravations at having to reestablish existing arrangements for payments into and out of the account? If that all went without a hitch, I’d buy a Stetson hat and eat it whole.

    This has to stop.

    If I could urge readers, wherever they are based, to — as I’ve done — contact their local BBVA subsidiary (just a brief one-liner in their “Contact Us” form and a link to this post will plenty suffice, for European readers here is there Press Office including their HQ in Spain and their regional offices) and tell them this kind of harassment is not on, this will help not only Yves to try to get this ongoing abuse halted, but it will send a message that we know what they and their ilk are doing and we won’t tolerate it.

    Reply
    1. vlade

      I’ll add to it that in the UK a driving license with an address is no longer considered a proof of address.

      As you say, this is getting fairly riduculous, and not only by the banks. All the docs have to be “paper docs, delivered to your address”.

      Well, what if you’re flat sharing, and not paying any utilities (because they were there before), even assuming there’s a paper trail, which there often isn’t?

      This is a brainless application of KYC rules, where the approach tends to be “if we throw it away by mistake, we won’t get punished, and enough gets to us anyways”.

      In reality, as you say, it leads to a lock in – although I’m not sure how much of it’s by design on otherwise (in theory, the bank should do it at least when you change address, which for the young is quite often, so would still lead to attrition over time).

      And the lack of credit history is a massive problem too. I saw last week an ad on the Tube “paying your rent on time has no impact on your credit history. Use XYZ and it will show there!”. I guess this is where the “fintech” will eat their lunch, because *gasp* they will implement the “innovation” that no bad credit history may be still a good credit history.

      Doh. Self-licking ice cones..

      Reply
    2. Ignacio

      I am a BBVA customer and I am doing this tonight. Good idea Clive.

      I am not a social network user but just telling them to do something or the misconduct will be propagated through those may also help.

      Reply
      1. Ignacio

        OK, already done. When I have an answer I will let you know. As Clive wrote, I let them know this kind of harrassment is not on. I added that my mother is also a BBVA client and expect for her and all the elder the best retail banking standards given their vulnerabilities.

        Reply
    3. Danny

      “With so many companies nudging their customers into having paperless billing, statements and correspondence, this is no longer a case of having a rummage around in your filing.”

      One more reason to demand that bills be sent to my U.S. Mailbox, each and every month. Utility bills, even if I am signed up for autopay. This means medical records too.

      “Bill will be paid only after hard copies of medical/lab reports are received.” That is what I write on the bottom of every agreement to pay or provide insurance that I get in a doctor’s office. Recently had to carefully spell it out on one of those electronic signature tablets.

      Get your x-rays and other images on a disk before you walk out of the office. Usually it means a five minute wait, if you tell the technician before the image is taken.

      No, I will not join your internet medical portal, nor do I care about going “paperless”, nor “going green”, nor (them) “saving a stamp”, the usual horseshit excuse for a corporation making even more money and forcing me to use my paper and toner to print their documents for them.

      A three ring binder of your bills, documents, or statements are a powerful thing to have in a dispute.

      Reply
    4. JTMcPhee

      Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! No, it’s a plane! No, it’s the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, linked arm in arm with the Federal Trade Commission! Here they come to save the day!

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer_Financial_Protection_Bureau

      Casual research by this former attorney who was for a while chief of litigation for the Illinois Consumer Fraud Division (long ago nobbled by the establishment for being too, ah, “protective” of the public) indicates that if you really want to make a stink, maybe the New York consumer fraud laws can provide a suitable weapon. No need to prove reliance on a misrepresentation, and Recovery of attorney fees is available to the successful plaintiff. I have no connection to the law firm that posted this description of NY consumer fraud law, but here is their primer on the subject: https://www.new-york-attorney.org/new-york-fraud-law.html

      One wonders how, or if, people not blessed with astute caregivers and daughters/sons and their full faculties can add their voices and get redress themselves. Obviously a big problem, thank you Clive, one my wife and I have encountered in several forms over many years. We had a hard time getting a mortgage, because we paid cash and had no debts for all those years (after recovering from the slamming of ‘retirement accounts” via Wall Street, and paying off a lot of stuff. “No credit history? Go. Away.” Thank goodness for credit unions, though even they wanted massive documentation and hit us for about 3 points’ interest premium. This while both of us were still full time nurses.

      And for some reason, the provisions, as I recall them of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act ring a faint bell in resonance with the facts presented…

      Reply
      1. Yves Smith Post author

        The problem is she is in Alabama and the bank is chartered in Alabama.

        Good new in theory would be that the practice in the state is that (without belaboring details) the system is to get redress of serious consumer wrongs in court, to the degree that Alabama was one of the top venues for class action suits.

        The bad news is that the Alabama Supreme Court races are far and away the most expensive in the US, way more expensive than the governor’s race. The net result is the Supreme Court will knock back pretty much any judgment to $1 million. But we aren’t talking about that here.

        Reply
      2. DSB

        Yes JTMcPhee, lets go to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or CFPB …

        https://www.consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfpb/can-i-cash-a-check-at-any-bank-or-credit-union-en-931/

        At the link you will find the following information about cashing checks in the United States:

        “However, many banks or credit unions will cash a check if:

        1. It is written by one of their account holders,
        2. There is money in the account to cover the check,
        3. The check is not more than 6 months old,
        4. You are the payee shown on the face of the check, and
        5. You show proper ID. “

        Reply
        1. DSB

          It is clear the situation Yves describes has poor communication at its foundation. That has never been a strong point for banks and bankers. The Webbers are angry and feel violated as the result. Such feelings are justified. This is a horrible situation that I hope can move forward with better understanding. [I have nothing to do with BBVA Compass Bank, never have. I do not know Mr. Edwards or anyone who knows Mr. Edwards.]

          The key to understanding the situation is contained in my prior comment listing the 5 necessary inputs for cashing a check. For the commenters that suggested the Webbers move the account to another bank or credit union please take note that the 5 necessary inputs are required for all banks and credit unions. [More may be required.] To the extent a “friendly” community bank or credit union acts differently they are out of compliance with banking regulators and they are putting their customers at risk. That is not friendly, it is bad.

          What has happened in the past and what is requested to continue by the Webbers is that only the first 3 of 5 inputs be present in a transaction. What has happened at their bank is outside banking standards as documented by the CFPB. As such the bank has taken on risk with its regulators and the Webber family. It is this risk that is at the heart of the recommendations the Webbers, their banker and lawyer advisers find objectionable. However, what each recommendation does is transfer the risk the bank has been assuming to the Webbers. It does this either by changing the payee on the check and then being able to meet all 5 inputs or by eliminating the check and moving the transaction to an ATM. When viewed from this perspective the recommendations Mr. Edwards made are all rational as he is trying to move his branch and the bank back into compliance.

          To the extent the branch allowed the cashing of checks as drawn in the past they should be viewed as favors. Favors are not forever. Mr. Edwards was not unsympathetic to the plight of Mrs. Webber as he allowed one more transaction in the month of November. He provided time to come to another process for accessing cash.

          At account opening a legal agreement was entered. The agreement established the owner(s) of the account, the individuals with access to the account and the circumstances thereof. This agreement is amended over time by the bank to reflect changes in banking laws and the bank’s policies. Mrs. Webber’s certified letters are an attempt to unilaterally amend the terms of service with the bank. I don’t know of any significant company dealing with retail customers that allow individual customers to dictate terms of service to them.

          From the circumstances as described by Yves, it would seem plausible that the demand that all communication be in writing struck Mr. Edwards as suspicious. I draw from the post it had been some time since Mrs. Webber had been in the bank branch, possibly years. I make this point because in March 2016 the CFPB issued an advisory to financial institutions (banks, credit unions and others) on the topic of elder financial abuse. A link to the advisory is here

          As a regulator of financial institutions, the CFPB has made the prevention of elder abuse a priority for financial institutions. Banks have staffed for the issue and developed training on the advisory for all employees. Having Yves’ clear description of the circumstances we all know what was going on did not constitute elder abuse in the slightest. But how would Mr. Edwards be expected to know that? From his perspective Mrs. Webber had not been seen in a long-time. A care giver has been cashing checks drawn on Mrs. Webber’s account at the bank. And now Mr. Edwards is told he must only communicate by US mail.

          I speculate that at some point in the conversations with the Webbers and the care giver he may have heard something that further concerned him about the situation. Again, remember Mr. Edward’s branch and bank is out of compliance with past check cashing practices. Further, Richard Cordray CFPB Director says at the link above, “Banks and credit unions are uniquely positioned to look out for older Americans and take action to protect them.” While the Webbers justly feel aggrieved by the visit from the social worker, I do not believe it constituted retaliation. After all Mr. Cordray also goes on to say, “Financial institutions should promptly report suspected exploitation to relevant federal, state, and local authorities, regardless of whether reporting is mandatory or voluntary under state or federal law. Banks and credit unions can work closely with local Adult Protective Services and law enforcement to enhance prevention and response efforts, including expediting document requests and providing them at no charge.” Mr. Edwards was compelled by regulatory advice to make the call.

          Banks have been deputized by the US Government to fight all manner of criminal activity. It is there that the comments on this matter should be directed.

          Reply
          1. Yves Smith Post author

            First, what the CFPB is citing is not law but common practice. Some banks may have codified it in their Terms and Conditions, but if not, they don’t have a legal foundation for their position.

            You have not read the post with sufficient care.

            1. Marian Webber is the payee.

            2. She has endorsed the check. That means that under the UCC (and Alabama like every state in the US had adopted a version of the UCC, and trust me, it’s adopted the provisions at issue) the check has been “endorsed in blank”. It can be transferred to anyone or cashed. Banks sell mortgages, which are also negotiated instruments under the UCC, this way all day (as in endorsed in blank).

            3. The bank has not once attempted to claim it has a legal foundation for its change of stance. All we have heard is “policy” and policies can be waived.

            Reply
  5. Ignacio

    First my admiration for Mrs Marian Webber showing a very sharp mind at 92. Second, I just cannot understand Mr. Edward misconduct, well out of bounds of what I have ever seen in retail banking.

    Reply
  6. Cthulhu

    Hello. I’m a lawyer. Not giving any legal advice here. Sorry you are going through this.

    I would point out that this conduct by the bank would appear to violate the UCC. The drawer (mom) makes out a check to the drawee (also mom) and then puts her endorsement in the check. It’s now bearer paper (good as cash, anyone can cash it). The home health worker now has possession and may place their own endorsement to cash the check.

    The bank, by failing to pay the check without cause, commits a breach of contract, I believe. Please check to see if your state allows attorneys fees for such contractual breach. If they are refusing to abide by the UCC for discriminatory purpose … by, for example, unfairly impacting elderly customers, well, that sounds like age discrimination.

    Obviously consult your own lawyer. I’m writing just for entertainment.

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Yes, I’ve had to get down the curve with the UCC back in the mortgage chain of title days, and your reading sounds correct. But banks increasingly act as if the law does not apply, and make up excuses like “Patriot Act” which are irrelevant but work as a magic talisman with most customers.

      Reply
    2. Clive

      You are correct in my non-lawyer opinion too. And I know as a fact that all the major card schemes (Visa, Mastercard, Amex) stipulate in their licence terms that card issuers do not allow in their Terms and Conditions any “pooling” or “sharing” of cards issued in their network. If BBVA issue their cards in one of these commonly adopted schemes, the advice their manager gave to operate a card in such a way was in breach of their card scheme licence conditions. Either that, or they were attempting to induce Yves’ mother into breaching the Terms and Conditions of her account (which is grounds for force-closure).

      Even if the ATM card was on the house network for BBVA Compass (not, say, licensed under Visa, Mastercard etc.) then a standard clause even for house issued ATM cards is to not share them between different people using the same card. Generally speaking, a new card must be issued for each person accessing the account.

      Reply
      1. vlade

        My understanding wasn’t pooling the account, but account-share (i.e. the account would be in the name of Yves’s mother as well as someone else). Which is even worse with someone like house-help.

        So you can pick your poison – either the advice was a contractual breach, or it was an invitation to fraud.

        Reply
        1. Yves Smith Post author

          No, he had two suggestions:

          1. Putting the home health care aide on my mother’s checking account (as if that were sound, as if my mother has only one, as if they were her employee as opposed to through an agency). I tried explaining this to Jarred and none of that mattered.

          2. Getting a debit card and letting the home health care aide(s) use that.

          Reply
          1. vlade

            I don’t understand 1 (unless it’s what I meant – i.e. the hired help would have rights to the account).

            Two is an induction to a contract breach, and as such should be grounds for disimissal for gross negligence.

            Reply
              1. vlade

                So it’s not even “or”, it’s an “and”.

                Disregarding the elephant in the room (DHRCR), these two things alone should be enough grounds for dimissal for gross negligence (knowingly opening client to a fraud, advising client to break a contractual clause) – and doing it on a phone with a client should be enough evidence (again, I’m assuming that any client conversations are monitored by BBVA – I know there’s you and the hired help as witnesses, but a record is a record)

                Add to it the DHRCR call, and the guy should have a lot of free time shortly.

                Reply
  7. PlutoniumKun

    Absolutely outrageous. I can only imagine how angry you must have been – and I am very much in admiration of your mothers beautifully written response letter.

    I rarely wish unemployment on anyone, but if anyone deserves some immediate free time, its Mr. Edwards.

    FWIW, I have family members who work in social work and related professions, and this type of abusive use of valuable social work time is all too common. However, every story I’ve ever had related to divorce, family disputes, or occasional malign individuals – never someone with this type of professional relationship.

    Reply
    1. Olivier

      It just struck me that this is a form of swatting, although mercifully DHRCR agents do not carry firearms and do not storm houses (for now, at any rate).

      Reply
      1. Danny

        Remember that building and health inspectors, among other public officials, have “arrest” powers, which mean they can legally stop you from doing things, under penalty of law should you resist. In some states, it is a felony from preventing any public official from discharging their duties.

        Verbal abuse however can get very creatives, as can videoing them or just talking them to death, asking their advice, pestering them for opinions about other things, that you don’t care if they see, “as long as you are here, could you tell me what you think about this?” which often causes them to flee.

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          True for Florida also. My Dad was an inspector for a city in south Florida and was told by his bosses that the inspectors badge allowed him to do everything a regular policeman could except chase someone across county lines.

          Reply
          1. PlutoniumKun

            Yes, its quite common for all sorts of reasons that various types of ‘inspector’ has much broader powers than regular police – this can apply with taxes, planning regulations, child protection, etc. This is why ‘swatters’ sometimes know the best people to contact to really upset someone aren’t the cops – it is the more obscure branches of law enforcement, such as tax or planning inspectors or child protection services, etc.

            The latter are often the worst, as the stain of being investigated for child abuse is something that’s near impossible to clean away. There was a horrible case here in Ireland of a police whistleblower who seems to have been anonymously reported by his fellow officers for inappropriate behaviour at a children’s party. The allegation turned out to be baseless, but it took years for him to clear his name from the suspicions.

            Reply
  8. Arizona Slim

    Would there be a local bank or credit union that would be interested in your mother’s business? I understand that moving her money, what with the autopays and direct deposit of Social Security, wouldn’t be the easiest thing to do, but it might be for the best in the long run.

    Reply
    1. Joe Well

      But what about Jarred’s other victims?

      People need to defend themselves when their rights are abused or soon there won’t be any rights.

      Reply
  9. The Rev Kev

    This is really disgusting this story. I hope that your mother is not too upset by this harassment. I note that BBVA Compass is actually headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama and not in say, New York so it may be more accessible. Accessible in that it could be pointed out to them through the behaviour of one of their managers has brought BBVA Compass into disrepute on a well-known financial blog with international coverage. Not all publicity is good publicity and their legal department may be busy today doing damage control.
    But does the Department of Human Resources & Civil Rights take kindly to have its time and resources wasted by a commercial organization trying to game their system? There is certainly a charge of wasting police time but is there an equivalent for the DHRCR? It might be pointed out to them that unless this practice is topped in its tracks, that this might become standard procedure that would end up blowing a hole in their operating budget. They may make them put on their frowny faces that as they must have enough of that with children’s welfare charges that they have to investigate.

    Reply
    1. JTMcPhee

      Those agencies and their staffs are between a rock and a hard place. They get reamed for the all too often failures that result in horrors to us mopes and our children like abusive parents who are returned custody of kids they eventually kill, or seniors who actually do need state intervention to protect them, often from their own children). This, even though the failures are so often the result of “cost cutting” and vast overwork, and the constant Grover Norquisting of public service.

      They get reamed for not investigating every possible complaint. They do not have the time and energy to refer any but the most egregious episodes of false complaints, the many that amount to abuse of process or malicious prosecution and violation of various “lying to the government” statutes, to whatever enforcement mechanism the state may provide, usually some low level new hire or old hack in the AG’s or State’s Attorney’s offices, many of whom will blow these kinds of complaints off for all the corrupt reasons — direct payoff, lobbying directed to higher-ups, or hope of eventual employment by the dark side.

      Reply
  10. The Historian

    Yea! Another one down!
    Congratulations to your mother and you!

    I wish this was a rare occurrence, but it is not. A similar situation happened to me with another company – although they didn’t go as far as calling social services on me – I just got labeled “old b*tch du jour”.

    Sadly there are too many people in this world who will try to assert their power over those they think are victims and sadly, there are too many people who are convinced they are victims without agency and don’t do anything. I love it when the supposed victim fights back!

    Reply
    1. Clive

      Their backslapping is something to behold, in the light of the above post:

      Responsible Banking

      “To bring the age of opportunities to everyone”. That is our vision, the purpose that leads all the decisions we take and the way we work at BBVA.

      Funnily enough, nothing about how this includes trying to snitch on a senior citizen to the DHRCR although, perhaps on a certain reading, one of the “opportunities for everyone” is to be smeared and defamed as being mentally incapacitated so as to have your access to banking facilities cancelled by BBVA, just ‘cos you’re too much trouble. I can’t deny, though, that they do indeed set a “New standard in customer experience“.

      Reply
      1. notabanktoadie

        “To bring the age of opportunities to everyone”. via Clive

        Yes, the opportunity of the richer (including the more talented, energetic or ruthless, etc.) to steal from those poorer via the use of what is, in essence*, the public’s credit but for private gain.

        *Due to heavy (not that that matters much, ethically speaking) government privilege for private depository institutions, aka “the banks.”

        Reply
  11. JacobiteInTraining

    Wow, just wow indeed!!

    My saintly old auntie had a ~10 acre plot of land – grassy…trees/forest, pasture, had cows and whatnot, and up until just a few months before passing away she still used a scythe (yes, a real scythe…like the grim reaper uses) to cut down swathes of her hay to dry for later winter use for her small herd of cows.

    She was decidedly OLD SCHOOL COOL, and tough as nails….as the lady in the story above seems to be.

    I still have that scythe somewhere….and its still in pretty good shape. razor sharp, and though it is hefty to wield, it can be incredibly effective vs…..well, lots of things. :)

    Reply
  12. Sadly Common

    I regulate certain licensees for a state agency. This is sadly common. Both recipients of services and, dismayingly, other licensees, will spite report people to us. Due to the fact that we’re required by statute to investigate all complaints that pass a low legal bar, we have to investigate these even though we know or suspect the complainant’s motive is bad.

    (To be fair, some spite complaints DO reveal violations. These are well in the minority though.)

    I often say as a prosecutor I’ve exonerated more innocent people than any defense attorney for internally dismissing frivolous complaints like these.

    Reply
  13. dimmsdale

    I’m not aware of this sort of conduct flourishing, except in a culture of impunity. The only remedy, sadly, seems to be publicity; also, as a New York State resident I’m aware I can go to the state banking commission, the state consumer affairs division, my local assemblyman, and perhaps several other avenues that MIGHT be able to offer remedies. (I’m not sure if such agencies exist in Alabama or not.) And the suggestion about pursuing some sort of action against this pissant for recklessly and duplicitously attempting to employ state workers to bludgeon a customer seems right as well. Unfortunately, few of us (including Yves and, well, me) are staffed for that sort of concerted, sustained action, and I suppose Mr. Pissant is counting on that (as, perhaps, is BBVA).

    I’ll be watching the site for updates and suggestions to turn up some heat on BBVA. Sorry about this, Yves. I’m familiar with loss of productivity due to outrage overload and it (plus the emotional pain spread fecklessly by Mr. Pissant) will hopefully be rectified.

    Reply
  14. Cynthia Wineburgh

    Thank you for posting this story, Yves, and thank you for fighting back on behalf of your mother. I’m sorry she had to go through this, but I’m afraid as one of those “ordinary workers” you refer to in describing the purpose of your blog (and I’m currently very underemployed as a home health aide at age 67, so I can relate to the story, as I recently moved to an area that has eliminated working class, office support jobs like the ones I did for years in favor of redistributing wealth to the area’s affluent elite, from everything I can see) it’s more and more typical behavior. Denying a simple courtesy that banks in the past would have gladly extended such a good, long-term customer as your mother, let alone the retaliation. I hope you can shame BBVA into doing the right thing. This is where deregulation, privatization, and neoliberalism in general take us.

    Reply
  15. ambrit

    A quick response. I have recounted our run-in with the St. Tammany School Board over home schooling our three children away back in the days when vast herds of Mastodons roamed the plains.
    The head of the School Board is the primary suspect in having the State Child Welfare Department send out an inspector, unannounced of course, to ascertain if we were ‘abusing’ our children. Luckily for us, the kids were doing school work when the inspector arrived. I was at work. Phyllis handled the visit. Phyllis worked out through ‘reading between the lines’ of answers given her to ‘nuanced’ questions addressed to the inspector, a well dressed woman driving a BMW. (The kids remarked on that part.) The point being that money, in the form of Federal matching funds was at the root of the case. We were depriving the School Board of three warm bodies worth of largess. Can that be a motivating factor in your mother’s ill treatment? ‘Cui bono’ in all it’s forms infects our social relations today.
    Good for you and your mom! Put this Tinpot Tyrant’s feet to the fire.

    Reply
  16. William Hunter Duncan

    What a lowlife, this banker. It seems we breed such in America.

    I met a guy at a bar recently, while I waited to pick up some food I had ordered. A young guy, he proceeded to tell me he is on parole, he is an alcoholic, and he works for Wells Fargo, working with clients and their investment money. I grilled him awhile, before I was satisfied that he knew next to nothing about economics or investing. He said he was surprised he got the job, being on parole. I refrained from saying, like attracts like. He then told me the company he works for is a subsidiary of Wells Fargo with a different name because “no one trusts Wells Fargo.” But then when I grilled him about that he couldn’t tell me why no one trusts Wells Fargo. But he was really pushing my fiancé to call him for a private guitar lesson (lessons he explicitly stated he doesn’t give anyone else.)

    This all may be anecdotal, but it does seem banks are in the habit of hiring morally and ethically compromised know-nothings, to do their dirty work I presume.

    Reply
    1. Arizona Slim

      Thank you, William, for providing yet another example of why DIY investing has become so popular. For those who want to get up to speed, I recommend this site:

      https://www.bogleheads.org/

      I also recommend a book that’s co-authored by several people who frequent the Bogleheads site. Title: The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing. Your library probably has it.

      Reply
    2. JBird4049

      Seems to be in the habit? I think it is policy, and to cultivate psychopathy when there was a shortage of hirable weasels; Wells Fargo employees were fired and put the banking industry’s do not hire list for not meeting quotas, not using the company sanctioned, often the illegal practices to meet their quotas, being caught using the illegal practices, or for using the company complaint hotline

      This apparently started around the 2008 crisis when finding work was difficult. So the employees and lower management had to survive this master class of being villainous, lying, backstabbing scum or lose their job in their chosen industry. These people often had mortgages to pay and families to support. So quite a dilemma.

      Reply
    3. fajensen

      Random thought: What if someone could get the records of prisoners? Like those services who do black-box AI evaluations of eligibility for parole.

      They could have a sideline in farming off ‘white non-violent high-functional sociopaths’ to whom may require their skill set.

      Would explain why the black-box AI has an inclement view of black peoples eligibility.

      Reply
    1. Clive

      No, I get (on the other side of things like this) all sorts of communications about disputes in retail finance.

      I need a precis of the backstory. I certainly need to have the customer’s version of events. I will probably attach little weight to it, but I have to have some context to work from. Do please keep in mind, a bank of any size will have hundreds of thousands of customers and millions of product holdings. I absolutely have to know a basic fact-set: what product (like a checking account, here), what service or feature of the product is in question (branch counter service or money transmission, for this situation), which branch (if applicable, and it is here), any named points of contact who have had involvement in the dispute (as Yves’ letter detailed).

      Why? Because, if it is me who the query has landed on, I have to first and foremost know if it is in my area of responsibility. Retail customer segment? Consumer lending products? Card schemes? Back office systems? — only if all of the above are true will it sit with me. The internal communications people or the general counsel (or the compliance / court production order team) — whoever got the notification from the customer will have a rough idea of where in a vast, sprawling, organisation the thing needs to go for investigation — can make educated guesses but they have to be given an approximate guide by the customer to give them something to go on.

      Only then will the correspondence be brought to the attention of an appropriate employee of the bank who can, hopefully, make sense of the sequence of events and make a determination of whether the bank acted appropriately or inappropriately.

      Oh, and if conduct is an issue, and this is definitely a conduct-related complaint, this has to be spelt out in a who did what, when, where and why their actions were problematic way. You can’t be vague on those details.

      Last, and I do mean last, is an indication of what the customer might anticipate as appropriate redress or how to put things right. Even then, my advice is always don’t, for the customer, limit yourself to a narrow framing of what you want to happen. It is up to the other party (the bank, BBVA as here) to make a suggestion — it might be a low-ball offer, but then you, the customer, can up your demands. Until you know what the company you are complaining about is willing to do, it is unwise to be too prescriptive. A minimum set of demands is by far the best thing to state, making it clear that you’ll only accept what you’ve put as a starting point. It is highly unlikely that your top-most expectations will be acquiesced to, so little point in appearing antagonistic by asking for not only for your cake, but a whole stack of cherries on top, too, in your initial communication.

      Reply
  17. Synoia

    After this publicity, it would be interesting to know if Mr Jarred Edward is still on the job at that Bank Branch.

    I would suspect he is not.

    Reply
  18. Adam1

    Thankfully this didn’t happen to me but it happened to my friend and neighbor. I’ve known Mike for about 12 years now – since he and his family originally moved into the home across the street from us. About 2 years ago Mike just dropped off the face of the Earth it seemed all of a sudden. I knew things weren’t great as earlier that year he had confessed his wife had said she wanted a divorce. Mike said he told her he’d do whatever was needed to make their marriage work. I suspected things had finally come to a point, but I didn’t have any idea what really transpired.

    Then I got a text message from his wife saying Mike had been removed from the home and asked that my family not ask her kids about it so as not to upset them. The fact that she texted me this and hadn’t come over to specifically chat seemed very strange – it wasn’t like we were on bad terms or anything at least at that point. Anyhow I reached out to Mike and asked if he’d like to meet for some drinks. What he tells me is insane and almost unbelievable.

    As I had mentioned Mike told his wife he’d do anything and so he did. She accused him or drinking too much so he went to a doctor for evaluation and started attending AA. Mike didn’t have a drinking problem that I had ever observed. Mike insisted they start counseling. This must have gone on for some time and his wife wasn’t achieving her objective of getting Mike to agree to a divorce. And that’s when Mike disappeared. What happened per Mike is that one evening after work he drove to their therapy appointment. His wife never arrived. He went home and she eventually showed up and told him she went to the sheriff’s office instead of their appointment. She had filed 40 or so charges of child abuse against Mike. The sheriff’s department arrive shortly after and escorted him away.

    The charges were bogus and she eventually dropped them, but not until after 2 or 3 court hearings and having the judge yell at her for wasting his time with her inability to produce any corroborating evidence (including testimony from her); her only in court complaint against Mike was that several bills hadn’t been paid. In the end she did achieve her goal, Mike agreed to the divorce.

    Reply
    1. fajensen

      It sounds like Mike’s wife is a low-assertiveness person. These tend to keep things inside behind a happy demeanour and then go completely overboard when they finally erupt.

      She finally, probably working up to it for a year or more, decides to leave her husband. Then husband steps in and begins to control her (again?), promising behavioural changes and insisting (no less!) on counselling sessions (An assertive person would say: “Screw all that, I am moving out!” and that would be the end of that matter).

      Anyway, one day, wife has finally had enough of succumbing to all that demanding stuff and she does a tactical nuke-out on the marriage, to make sure that this time her decision actually sticks!

      The lesson is: When your partner decides to leave, then it is a sound investment to let them leave on good terms.

      PS:,
      In Denmark nobody has to agree to a divorce. If the other party does not agree to it, all that will do is that the matter ends up in the ‘Family Court’ and they will split up the kids and the other chattels. The minimum cost is 1.630 DKK. Arguing over Everything is of course More and the lawyers love this long time :)

      Reply
  19. anon y'mouse

    is it against the rules for the bank to send an agent to the home itself simply to verify that these instructions were sent by the account holder themselves, and not having the old “they wave something under her nose and she signs it”.

    i am not saying this dude was in the right. but it sounds honestly like he was unfamiliar with the pattern of behavior, and then became alarmed that her care worker or whomever was taking advantage and draining the account slowly. surely there could have been a better way to deal with this issue.

    the real problem is that someone knowledgeable spoke back to him. the first thing you learn in the ghetto when dealing with cops is not to insist upon your rights. it only makes them angry, and then they REALLY try to ____ you up! your insistence that he follow the rules just aggravated this sense of, as someone above put it, impunity.

    i have had weird things happen where banks sent me info they should not have through the mail, and required me to do things in person that customarily would be done at a distance. they cite “security” and then turn around and violate security. one time i came in person to tell them about some correspondence they sent, barely secured, regular postal mail with my PIN prominently on it. they wanted me to sign something and return it. when i arrived, some higher functionary took me in the back room and said “why did you return this in person?” i said “because i am not stupid enough to continue mailing my PIN and private info (together, so all the info needed to steal my account would be the letter in the flimsy windowed envelope) back and forth through the postal service”.

    so, they exercise extra scrutiny when it suits them to do so, but are not actually trying to protect their customers. it was a valuable lesson. the reader might be wanting to guess which bank it was, but they all act the same now. just some of them (like mine within the past few years for fraudulent accounts and services without customer knowledge or approval) get caught at it.

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Huh? Did you READ THE POST?

      My mother spoke to Jarred directly 3x and told him she wanted her checks cashed as before. She even browbeat him to letting her home health care aide cash one last one over his objections.

      His suggestions would all expose her to way way way more fraud risk than her current procedure, when her maximum loss was a single check.

      My mother also sent three letters certified mail. They have her signature on file. Think a home health care aide could have written any of those letters?

      My mother also keeps most of her $ at Vanguard and transfers $ into this account as needed for cash and auto pay charges. This is the real issue: she’s just a small beer customer.

      Reply
      1. notabanktoadie

        My mother also keeps most of her $ at Vanguard Yves

        Technically no, unless Vanguard is also a commercial bank, credit union or other depository institution with an account at the Fed* and even then those are not $ but mere liabilities for $. So, in your mother’s case, my bet is her Vanguard account consists of liabilities for liabilities for fiat (shadow banking, no?)

        Otoh, liabilities of the Fed ARE $ and it’s a disgrace** that citizens may not use their Nation’s fiat in account form but must instead have deposits at a government privileged usury cartel.

        Not that I doubt you know this, Yves, but for my own sake I like to verify that I have a clear view of things I’m concerned with.

        *Or has a vault where they store physical fiat.
        **As in violation of equal protection under the law.

        Reply
        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Don’t embarrass yourself by making stuff up. Retail fund managers are regulated by the SEC. Money market accounts are Federally guaranteed up to $250,000 per account. Other funds are in securities which are valued at the end of every day, and if you put in a sell order, you will get the $ the next day, either in a check or swept into your money market fund, at the price at the end of the day in which you put in the sales order.

          Reply
      2. kiwi

        Well, I don’t get the situation either.

        Banks are aware that seniors are taken advantage of by caretakers. You can read plenty of stories about how caretakers accessed seniors’ cash for years and drained them of their money. I also think that banks are required to report any suspected financial abuse (maybe not in all states, but definitely some).

        Cash is so vulnerable to theft, although you believe your potential losses would likely be limited to one check, which is probably true if someone is keeping an eye on the bank account.

        My Dad used to insist on having some cash on hand (in his wallet), but I discontinued that practice after a couple of withdrawals. I had a cash bag with some cash, and I would ask the caretakers to use the cash occasionally, but they were to bring the receipts back (ideally, so I could balance the cash). I discontinued this practice after I couldn’t even get the caretakers to record the transactions on a log. I had a log with a beginning balance and they should have written any purchases on the log to keep a running total of cash on hand. Well, this was beyond their capability. But I do have the receipts (still) in the now unused cash bag.

        I would never entrust a signed check or cash to a caretaker on a regular basis like the arrangement your mother has-but I don’t know your exact situation. And I don’t know that if I was a caretaker, I would feel comfortable cashing someones check, either. That leaves me vulnerable to accusations of theft. In that situation, I would definitely have a log signed off by the person that they received the cash I got for them.

        Anyway, I never used cash much in the “operations” of caretaking for my Dad, and I did all of the purchasing via a debit card (for me only). That way, each financial transaction is recorded.

        That said, I think banks have just gone overboard with their authentication garbage. But with all of the theft and fraud, maybe some of the caution is justified.

        Reply
          1. kiwi

            The following is what I noted from your post when I commented:

            “I have written a check to myself, endorsed it, and had an agent, usually a home health care aide but sometimes my daughter, go to the Crestline branch and cash it.”

            “Even worse, he offered recommendations that should disqualify him from working in banking. He suggested that I put my home health care aide on my bank account or that I get a debit card and let her make ATM withdrawals. As I am sure you know, caregivers all too often steal from their employers. Financial experts and lawyers forcefully recommend keeping them well away from banking accounts. Mr. Edwards instead insisted I put myself in a position to be victimized.”

            “Mr. Edwards also suggested I make checks out to the home health care aide for her to cash. My daughter objected, saying that the agency’s contract expressly forbade that, plus the aide would have the right to the money and would not be obligated to turn it over to me. She also explained I cannot make checks out to her because as the executor of my estate, she cannot risk being construed to have pilfered my funds.”

            My point is that cash is a vulnerable asset and can easily be pilfered by anyone who handles it. Either you or the aide could easily take the cash from your mother after her check is cashed and use it for yourselves. How do you know that the aide isn’t taking a few dollars here and there? Nor does a check made out to your mother protect you (or the aide) from accusations of pilfering should you (or the aide) pilfer or your mother loses her faculties and starts accusing you of taking her cash.

            The bankers best assurance that your mother received the cash is to give it to her personally, and he does not have that assurance. His suggestions, while they would increase your mother’s vulnerability, are not disqualifying for his job. His suggestions get him off the hook should pilfering by the aide occur.

            Hopefully, your mother will continue to have her faculties forever. It is not a good idea to have aides anywhere near cash.

            Reply
            1. Yves Smith Post author

              You still have not read the post.

              1. The alternative presented was to either have the home health care aide PUT ON THE ACCOUNT, have checks made out to her, or have the use of an ATM card.

              If you think any of these are less risky than endorsing a check made out to oneself, you need your head examined.

              In the case of making only a single check out to the aide, the aide would have the legal right to keep the money, or did you miss that part? But the agency’s contract also forbids that.

              So every alternative has more risk than her current approach.

              2. The aide is sent to the bank on a separate errand. Aide is to bring the money back. My mother even stipulates the mix of bills she wants.

              My mother counts the money in front of the aide. So pray tell how can odd amounts go stray?

              3. If the money is not produced, my mother would immediately call the agency (who is responsible for the aide, oh, and the aides are bonded) and the cops.

              Reply
  20. David in Santa Cruz

    I’m so sorry that an elder who should be at the center of our respect and care is instead the target of a petty bully. I have had similar experiences with the banks; the links earlier in the week about Collapse/Apocalypse are particularly relevant to these circumstances.

    Our culture has elevated bullying, the infliction of suffering, and the degrading of dignity to the level of policy and entertainment. The rise of mass-incarceration, welfare and education “reform,” and a gig-economy precariat have festered hand-in hand with “suffering-as-entertainment” Reality-TV shows such as The Apprentice (now our President!), Survivor, and the myriad Real Housewives, to name but a few.

    However, we have developed a Culture of Impunity in which there is simply no accountability for this sort of bullying.

    I have had several similar experiences with “bankers,” and in fact this sort of ridiculous power-tripping has become the norm for that industry. One anecdote (of many I could share) was when my 91-year old father entered a precipitous decline and I had to present a Power of Attorney to Wells Fargo, where he banked after a series of mergers and take-overs. After several days of running the document past “legal,” the branch manager conceded that the document was valid and binding — but that Wells wasn’t going to accept it anyway. She delivered this news as my father was being lifted into an ambulance for transportation to a very expensive skilled nursing facility that I needed to access funds to pay.

    Fortunately, my father had the habitual good grace to die peacefully in his sleep 48 hours later, just as I was gearing-up to do battle with Wells. Six weeks later the assistant branch manager (the manager was hiding under her desk) remarked that it was the first time that he had ever honored orders from the Probate Court, because the documents that I presented were so complete.

    Of course, I moved the funds to a different bank where I did business — and got handed-off to a series of incompetent “wealth-managers” — a different story for a different day…

    This is what the collapse of a civilization looks like!

    Reply
    1. Jen

      This is appalling, and scary. My Dad is 86, and banks with TD North. I have financial power of attorney, and it never occurred to me that I might have to spend my time battling his bank to get them to accept that. He’s in very good health, but forewarned is forearmed.

      Reply
  21. Danny

    Why is this never mentioned anywhere?

    Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A., better known by its initialism BBVA, is a multinational Spanish banking group
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banco_Bilbao_Vizcaya_Argentaria
    In 2007, BBVA acquired Alabama Compass Bank in the US, strengthening its franchise in that country. Later, BBVA unified its corporate image in the country by reorganizing its entire portfolio of brands under the name “BBVA Compass”.
    It is one of the largest financial institutions in the world, and is present mainly in Spain, North America, South America and Turkey.

    Think of the money that corporations spend on advertising to get a relatively small amount of new business. Then figure how much equivalent or far more business they could lose from existing customers and outraged community word of mouth. The threat of this should, could and I believe will, with the good work of Yves and other outraged customers, create the likelihood that certain toxic employees will be quickly identified and discharged, hopefully with large financial damage awards as well.

    Reply
  22. John Zelnicker

    Yves – What a horror show.

    I had a run-in with local child services when my older daughter was in elementary school, but not nearly as involved as some commentators have related.

    My daughter, the drama queen, told some kid that the red spot on her face was the result of being burned with a curling iron by her mother. It was actually due to her scratching and rubbing the spot.

    Well, the kid told a teacher and since they are mandatory reporters, child services was called. They pulled both of my daughters out of school (the younger one was in kindergarten) to interview them, without notice and without parents or legal representation present. My wife and I also had to appear for an interview at child services’ office.

    Once the interviews were done, child services closed the case, realizing that my daughter had told a story for attention that was not based in reality.

    Nevertheless, it was embarrassing and intimidating and it took some time before my kids were able to get past the experience. This is the part that disturbs me the most. Kids (and adults) caught up in these investigations can have a lot of difficulty recovering from these incidents.

    Reply
  23. Elizabeth

    What an outrageous horror story. This smacks of elder abuse, and I’d do everything I could to get Edwards removed from the bank – and make sure he stays out of similar positions. I’d also make a big stink to banking regulators in Alabama – and maybe even call the DA. No one should have to go through this, but unfortunately, we live in a society where elders are lumped into a box of “incompetence, confusion, and other stereotypical nonsense. Your mom is definitely sharp as a tack. Edwards is nothing but a bully.

    Reply
  24. Wmkohler

    Yves,

    From my time as a tenant advocate in Los Angeles, I can tell you that it is a dismayingly common harassment tactic for landlords to call social services and make false allegations in cases where they want to push out a rent-controlled or otherwise protected tenant. Indeed, the threat of calling one’s caseworker and making false allegations is in my experience particularly used against Section 8 tenants, who might otherwise be more motivated to seek needed repairs to the property.

    Reply
  25. Oregoncharles

    Are banks generally given to moving people up to their level of incompetence much too quickly? I ask because Edwards is new; evidently he’s over impressed with his new importance – and completely out of his depth.

    Something like that happened, many years ago, to my brother; fortunately he wasn’t customer-facing. It was a miserable experience for him,but he recovered.

    That’s a long time ago and far, far away; but it makes me wonder if banks often have trouble with managerial personnel. In the past, they notoriously didn’t attract the sharpest.

    It’s too bad Yves/ mother had to deal with this; but I think Mr. Edwards and the bank had no idea who they were dealing with.

    Reply
  26. Big River Bandido

    Yves, I’m sorry you and your mother are going through this, especially during her birthday week and Thanksgiving. Is there anything a non-customer of BBVA Compass can do as part of a public “outrage” campaign?

    This case puts the trifecta of malignancies in the FIRE sector on display: incompetence, corruption, and flagitiousness. Your account will make a powerful and compelling article.

    Reply
  27. HotFlash

    My 75-yr-old BFF was living in assisted housing, this was a situation where up to 5 women lived in a residential house owned by the city (Toronto) but administered by a non-profit. This non-profit had had its funding gutted and its mandate expanded by our Federal Conservative government (Steven Harper, for those keeping track). About two years ago one of her housemates began to harass her — coming into her room unannounced, yelling at her, using her phone, bringing large dogs into the house — she had a dog-sitting sideline — and generally being obnoxious. When the house was repurposed I moved her into my home. Within a week we had a surprise visit from 1.) three social workers, 2.) one Toronto Housing cop — she was really, really horrible, and 3.) a regular Toronto cop. We in my house were all shocked and frightened, my friend kept yelling at them, “Go away, get out!” The social workers were all over her, “Now dear, does she hit you? When was the last time you saw a doctor, dear?” The Housing cop had a look like, “|Gotcha!” The regular cop asked my friend a few questions and then said, “It seems to me that this woman is in full possession of her faculties and wants to be here.” So they all had to go away. We can only assume that it was her housemate who instigated the visit, since they aren’t telling, and she was the only person in the house who knew where I live.

    We complained to the city housing people, they were surprised and, I think, appalled that the Toronto cops had been involved. Me, I was soooo glad of that constable’s judgement. If it had been up to the social workers and that Housing cop, it could have been really bad. More than two years later my friend still has nightmares about it.

    Reply
  28. flora

    About the financial advice Mr. Edwards gave your mom, per her letter:

    “Even worse, he offered recommendations that should disqualify him from working in banking. He suggested that I put my home health care aide on my bank account or that I get a debit card and let her make ATM withdrawals. As I am sure you know, caregivers all too often steal from their employers. Financial experts and lawyers forcefully recommend keeping them well away from banking accounts. Mr. Edwards instead insisted I put myself in a position to be victimized.”

    umhmm. And per the Birmingham,AL bank’s web page:

    Our Lee Branch BBVA branch is located in the Village at Lee Branch in front of the movie theater for easy-access banking. This branch, managed by Jarrod Edwards, offers a wide variety of personal and commercial banking solutions, including ….(long list of commercial banking interests).
    ….
    Make your best financial decisions with guidance from our experienced staff. At this branch, our team is made up of friendly, English-speaking individuals to more fully answer your personal banking questions.
    (my emphasis)
    https://www.bbvausa.com/USA/AL/Birmingham/105-Doug-Baker-Blvd/

    uh huh… right. I don’t think I’d trust this branch’s financial advise about anything.

    I got the the distinct impression Edwards’ focus is not on small personal accounts. (And he might be trying to get rid of individual personal customer accounts that are less profitable than big-bidness customers and multi-product users. Harassment could be one method to drive away small customers.)

    His business behavior toward your mom is disgusting. I’m so sorry you’ve been subjected to this.

    Reply
    1. flora

      adding: Does your mom’s phone have an answering system that can record live calls? I wonder what Edwards’ response would be upon hearing “this call may be recorded for training and other purposes.” Heh.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        The recording at home trick is a double edged sword. When I was contesting a bill collectors ‘entreaties’ recently, I said to the woman in their office, “Oh, and I record my business related calls for safety and quality control.” the woman, who was physically located in South Dakota, (I looked their call centre location up,) immediately replied, “We are not allowed to continue conversations where the other party is recording, either turn your machine off or I will hang up.” I was bluffing, and so mimed turning my ‘machine’ off. The double standard displayed out in the open concerning communications rights was truly breathtaking. The ‘Culture of Impunity’ is a real and pernicious ‘thing’ in American culture today.

        Reply
      2. Mark H.

        Alabama is a “one-party consent state,” so you can legally record a phone call there without telling the caller that you’re recording. “One-party consent state” means that only one person in the phone call needs to consent to recording it, so if you answer a call and start recording it, you’re the one party who’s consented to recording the call.

        Reply
        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I want to tell them I am recording next time. They need to deal with us in writing. This stuff on the phone is tiring and I get wound up too easily when they get stupid with my mother.

          Reply
      1. Yves Smith Post author

        A branch staffer wrote it on a card in front of me and I confirmed the spelling, as in spelled it back letter by letter. So if it’s wrong, it’s because his subordinates can’t spell his name. Plus there is someone with that name who looks to be the right age from a small town in southern Alabama.

        Reply
        1. Attention to detail

          > … if it’s wrong, it’s because his subordinates can’t spell his name.

          Heh heh. Maybe it’s the same subordinate who made the webpage cited by Flora. In any case, it’s a further indicator of the quality of Mr Edwards’ management skills.

          Reply
    2. flora

      adding: If VVBA fails to respond in writing by the date your mom’s letter demands then it might be useful for your mom’s attorney to send a firm letter to the bank noting their legal requirement to respond in writing. imo.

      Reply
  29. AnotherAnon

    Does Edwards hold some sort of license to be a financial advisor or bank manager? If so, it might be worth it to go after his license, not just his job.

    Reply
  30. JBird4049

    I keep thinking of people who don’t have the resources to survive, forget about successfully fighting back, the various kinds of SWATings; most people are not college educated middle class people who can speak and write the bureaucratese needed to navigate them; I am not talking about intelligence. I am referring to the calm, logical, semi-subservient, hyper-polite, speech that tends to disarm whoever is trying to find faults in you.

    Being rightfully angry or having the law or the rules on your side can mean precious little as some people will take any disagreements, even acting as if you are just as good as them, as a personal insult or attack.

    Wanting to be treated as a human being as you navigate social “services” can backfire. Do not get me wrong. Most people working in such places, be it the police or welfare, are good people, trying to be good, but not all.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      I would be interested in seeing some ‘hard’ metrics on this, such as, numbers of complaints against ‘civil servants’ as a function of ‘civil servant’ population size, etc. per year. Are ‘things’ getting significantly worse or is the NC commenteriat merely a more sophisticated group of people than the general population, and thus more prone to recognizing injustices than the ‘average’ person?

      Reply
      1. fajensen

        People like me get better treatment, I suspect because we expect better treatment. Being privileged, we have an ‘air of command’ and if there is any shit from anyone, we also know who to call and what to do to get restitution. The bullies can smell this so they will keep their urges in check.

        I get upset when I see bad treatment because I am not used to it. If I was perhaps at a poorer station in life, maybe I wouldn’t really see it because it is ‘the normal’ like having a chronic pain or handicap.

        And it does happen! Here, this is in Scandinavia, the average life time difference between ‘resource strong people’ and ‘resource weak people’ is about 10-15 years (this my remembrance from a newspaper article that has now been drowned by Google, it was quite the scandal at the time).

        The normal distribution for life expectancy, when corrected for social factors, I suspect will look like a camel-back: The average of two distinct normal distributions, one where a lot of people die in their 50’s and another where a lot of people die in their 80’s.

        They used to blame it on ‘lifestyle choices’, like smoking and drinking, until there was a scandal with a 3-year old who eventually died from eating a lithium battery because the hospital refused to listen to the parents and take an x-ray. His parents were not resource strong people who could fight it out with the doctors. This case made a lot of people go ‘Hey! I had to argue with those b*stards over so-and-so. This is NORMAL!?! WTF!!!! Is *that* what we pay taxes for?!’

        There, I am glad to say, is now research (ch 11) and concrete work going on to fix this (Danish Sites).

        I think we are finally going in a better direction, but, I wonder how it will pan out.

        The socially disadvantaged have many additional problems created with the current neo-liberal ‘market based’ approach to public services that the resource strong people will not have. At some point ‘government’ have to figure out that ‘Markets’ favour the people with the resources (Duh!?) and then what will ‘they’ do about it, having built entire careers in public administration on ‘Markets == Good”?

        For example one needs a Digital ID to access them (Requires procurement of a smartphone, tablet or computer, which costs money and must also be cared for), then one needs to be fairly good at reading and one needs to be good at spatial orientation to keep a model of the service in ones head so one can navigate the web pages.

        My wife is crap at the latter. I suspect many people are. My mother is reasonably good and she has my sisters family next to her with one engineer, one controller, trainee nurse so she has ‘backup’ as it were.

        We sometimes joke that the ‘Digital ID’ and ‘Digitalisation of Public Services’ is Governments way of killing off the weak; maybe it is not actually a joke. It is for sure a logical consequence of Schengen, that those ‘inefficient’ physical borders will be replaced by automated virtual ones, around everything, everywhere!

        Reply
      2. Ana

        My sister and her husband are now going through a similar situation (different bank) involving his mother and her bank. It is even more complicated due to what seems to be confusion or the beginning of dementia on his mother’s part. She is a large account holder, and it is very profitable to “churn” her funds and accounts.

        My brother in law is trying to get a handle on how many accounts his mother has, who is moving her money around at the bank, and what the fees are exactly. They have had to hire an expensive, high end specialist attorney to fight with the bank to begin to get the bank to divulge any information to anyone including the mother (the holder of the various accounts).

        In reading your post, it reminds me of the kinds of abuse I am familiar with having to do with persons with disabilities. I am specifically responding to the question regarding “hard metrics” and civil servant population and want to be clear I do not have direct experience with elder abuse.

        I am a retired (and very tired out) civil rights attorney who ended up working for two branches of the government, both of which provided a variety of services to people with disabilities. One branch kept records of the number of clients who had been abused and the other kept a more informal record. The former had an abuse rate of about 90% for female clients and 70% for male clients. Because the latter did not keep good records, I can only say that abuse was very common. For both agencies, I refer to abuse committed by “civil servants” or contractors who acted under color of civil authority.

        By abuse I mean physical and psychological intimidation, physical and sexual assault, withholding services including medical/social/transportation/educational services, and financial misuse of client funds. In my experience investigating cases and working with individuals with disabilities in general who were clients or who were simply a member of the community and not receiving services from the government, abuse is common by persons who have power or authority (including medical personnel).

        My quick dive into information on and statutes concerning elder abuse do not much address the issue of professional class abuse of the disabled or elderly from bankers, doctors and the like even though they have (sometimes literal) power of life and death. I just could not find statistics concerning pernicious professional abuse. There are stats on violent crimes though.

        If anyone would like to take a look at an in depth study of non fatal violent crimes against persons with disabilities I recommend a study from the U.S. Dept of Justice. I believe but cannot prove the numbers to be under reported for both the disabled and the elderly.
        https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/capd0915st.pdf
        Compare to non fatal violent crimes against the elderly
        https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cae0313.pdf

        I cheer you on and hope that you are the nightmare of his life for some time to come.

        Reply
  31. fnx

    What a horrible experience! So thankful you’re there to help your mom, and that you wield a very big stick with which to clobber this idiot. I’ve worked in a lot of different industries and there is always at least one of his type that has weaseled their way into management and proceeded to make everyone else’s life a living hell.

    Also thankful that your experience with adult services turned out so well. My experience has been that they were virtually worthless in protecting my parents from being victimized by other family members and caregivers. Most recently, a few years ago, it was my dad, who was over 80, blind and quite a bit down the road toward dementia (not to mention half a country away from me), that had trusted a former neighbor to clean and help him with his business needs, including bill paying and grocery shopping. She had done that for a few years by the time I ended up getting involved, which was when his mobile home park filed an eviction action for non-payment of his lot rent and I received a letter from the caregiver shaking me down for thousands of dollars. As it turned out, his caregiver had started taking most of his money (whose total income was less than $1000 a month!) for their own drug or alcohol addiction and barely paid his bills . The eviction action was warranted and I barely managed to keep him in place thru reaching out blindly to the park management’s attorney via email after the judge had signed the order. After reviewing almost a decades worth of his bank statements, and after one of his other friends took him to the bank to close out the accounts and open new with me having signatory rights, I called and filed a complaint with Adult Protective Services. An APS investigator talked to dad, then called that caregiver to “interview” them, while in reality it was really just warning them that they were being investigated, before closing the case file with the notation of, “well he gave her his debit card.” I also filed a complaint with the sheriff that went nowhere despite the huge amount of evidence of financial misconduct over a long period of time. I later found out that sheriff’s office does nothing if it won’t result in lots of very good press. The other aspect involved was SNAP card fraud in that she got my dad a SNAP card, then kept it and continued to use it until I was able to report it stolen a few months later. Sad to say, the caregiver ended up going free to victimize other people.

    The one thing his bank did that was perfect to protect him was to suggest he get one of their prepaid debit cards in addition to his regular debit card. By giving whoever was going to shop for him the prepaid card, they could only get as much as was transferred to it and had no way to get at the rest of the money in his accounts

    Reply
  32. Tom Stone

    Reading this left me so angry I took a 30 minute walk to calm down.
    This is the behavior of a sadist, there’s no concievable benefit to BBVA Compass in allowing this kind of behavior although it does speak loudly of the corporate culture at BBVA.
    The publicizing of Mr Edwards misbehavior may well cost him his job and BBVA a good deal of money, however the corporate cullture is unlikely to change.
    There’s a reason we call them banksters.
    It’s a damn shame that horsewhipping has gone out of style.

    Reply
  33. Mark H.

    Popcorn, please! OMG, did this idiot pick on the wrong mother and daughter. But I wonder if he might actually get away with this outrage if he wasn’t dealing with someone of Ms. Webber’s stature.

    Reply
  34. eg

    You are fortunate, Yves, that your mother is so sharp at such an advanced age, and she in turn is fortunate to have a daughter close at hand as capable as yourself to handle just such circumstances.

    Lucky likewise myself to have a finance savvy brother to help me assist our own mother’s affairs. We are well educated people with sufficient resources to deal with the kind of pettiness that this incident represents. I feel for those less well equipped to fight back — the indignities they must endure.

    For myself, I’m currently putting up with a relatively minor irritation posed by my own bank, an institution that I’ve been a customer of for almost 50 years. But I’m already plotting my escape from their clutches, and looking forward to taking a nice chunk of business off their hands and giving them an earful into the bargain …

    Reply
  35. Antagonist Muscles

    Yikes, both Yves and Yves’s mother have taken some debilitating falls. I certainly noticed Yves’s gait when I last met her in person. The NC community wants Yves (and her mother) to recover completely from whatever incurred injury.

    Recovery, of course, takes time and training. When I saw my now deceased grandparents struggle physically, I gave them my advice on how to properly use their larger muscles when getting in and out of cars or furniture. But my most important advice was that they needed to repeatedly train ordinary motions like getting up from a seated position, instead of tenuously using their hands on unstable objects.

    Unsurprisingly, my grandparents did not listen to me. It sure would be nice if some government organization hired people to hammer the importance of training for fall prevention. I attended one fall prevention class that was freely available to Kaiser members, and although I liked the information presented, there was no physical training for falls. (No, I am not high risk for falls.) Actually practicing proper technique for getting in and out of a shower would be invaluable information for just about everybody.

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I have been exercising and weight training for over 30 years. I haven’t found anyone how has been much help with my current injury and I have been looking for three years, and this is despite having good connections with the pro sports training mafia, which is usually highly expert at rehab.

      My injury has had the effect of increasing the functional disparity in my leg length (before, 0.4 inches, which I could compensate for and have a normal-looking gait, now it seems to be well over an inch, with no bone break, and no one has a clue as to why).

      Reply
  36. Tyronius

    Thanks to this article, I will not be giving any of my business to BBVA Compass Bank. I will be watching carefully for further articles chronicling the progress of these legitimate complaints and the bank’s efforts to make things right.

    Reply

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