Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Last summer, my son got his first real job. He was 16 1/2. I took him out to open up a savings account in a local bank so that he could take the responsibility of depositing his own paycheck. He already has a savings account at my husband's credit union, where we have banked for 25 years. But the branch is in Austin, it's not local and convenient. I wanted my son to go through the process of opening up his own account and taking care of his money. The account I've had for him since he was a baby is something I've always handled. Plus, I don't really want him to have access to that account yet.

So we go up the street to the Bank of America. I could not believe it when we sat down and they would NOT open up an account for him unless I had an account there with a minimum balance! That's ridiculous. Believe me, I understand that banks are all about money and my son doesn't and won't have much in this little account. But I could not believe they refused to let him open an account. I guess I'm out of the loop, but it just didn't make sense to me.

When I was a little girl, probably 9 or 10, I remember opening up my first savings account at the bank across the street from our house. They gave me a little plastic transistor radio for opening an account with probably about ten bucks! I would save quarters for crying out loud! I guess things have really changed.

I then took my son to Wells Fargo, which was just down the road. What a difference! A really sweet woman sat down with us and opened up an account for him, explained to him all the details, he doesn't have to pay a monthly fee, he gets a visa check card, and he has online access to his account! When I told her what happened at Bank of America, she was very surprised. She said that in her opinion giving my son an account is an investment in the future. One day he will need a car loan, or a mortgage, or investment counseling, and that hopefully he will stay with Wells Fargo. EXACTLY!

He has his paycheck deposited directly and he keeps track of his account online. It has been great for him. And I would like to thank Wells Fargo for being teen-friendly! As a matter of fact, two of his friends also opened accounts there on his recommendation because they were also turned down by other banks!

Okay, that's just something I wanted to get out there today.