Centier Complaint

A self-proclaimed community bank, Centier Bank, located in NW Indiana, has some of the worst overdraft fees in the area. Competitors, at least, offer options to by-pass these fees – through monthly-fee insurance, or an approved line of credit. Both of these either eliminate the overdraft fee, or only charge you for interest due on what they covered (pennies). Centier, however, slaps you with a $35 fee, regardless of your overdrawn amount, and will continue hitting you with this fee if you don’t get the balance back above $0, or if additional debit card transactions or checks hit your account, repeating the overdraft fee nightmare. As a privately held bank, with the majority held by the founding family, you can see the motivation. Employees are discouraged from reversing these fees. If you overdraw your account by $2, lasting 3 days and getting a $35 fee, you are paying an APR of 212, 916.67% in interest – worse than loan sharking. Fair would be a $.50 charge on a 3-day overdraw of $200. This calculates out to be over 30% APR. Add to this, their processing of withdrawals before deposits, and withdrawals being processed in descending order – regardless of their transaction order. Both these tactics result in potentially higher fee revenue for them. Do they really care about their community, or just themself? I’ve seen days where withdrawals and deposits take place, netting out to a positive balance, but because of their so-called money-making strategy, fees were assessed because the deposits were processed last. If you do business with them, I encourage you to research area competitors who may care more about their customers’ satisfaction instead of their shareholders.

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