Can anyone recommend a non-evil bank in the NYC area?

I want to open another bank account, but do not want to deal with Chase or Citibank anymore, nor any other wicked corporate power, too big to fail. Does anyone have experience with a bank that is possibly socially conscious and/or not evil?

Of course, then there’s the problem of limited access to ATMs, but I am just wondering.

Go to a credit union–they’re much less evil, aren’t allowed to profit off fees and CUs share an ATM network so access is pretty widespread. They usually have better interest rates on loans and such too.

Wawa has free ATMs & 7-Eleven does (did?) too because it drives foot traffic into their store.

My parents have banked with Peoples United Bank for about fifty years and they seem nice enough. They’re based in Bridgeport, Connecticut and have branches in Connecticut, elsewhere in New England and Westchester County. (The OP says “NYC area” but that’s actually quite a large territory. It would help to narrow things down. Where do you live, exactly? Where do you work? I usually want a bank convenient to both.)

And people often suggest credit unions, on the theory that they’re somehow inherently less “evil” or less bureaucratic. But some credit unions are enormous things with billions in assets and dozens of branches. I question the assumption.

I am in Brooklyn and work in Manhattan.

I am mostly disgusted with my long-time bank, Chase. I’ve had really bad experiences on an estate situation with them, and I find their corporate practices despicable. So I want to open a new account elsewhere. (There’s also the fact that current interest rates are pathetic, so I need to maybe buy CDs too, but that’s an additional issue.)

I use M&T Bank. I’ve never noticed any evil with them.

What’s the problem with Citibank? I’ve used them since 2000, never had an issue.

Is Bank of America evil?

Not that I think OP’s aim is a bad idea, but in a perfect world I don’t think we should have to rely upon banks or corporations being “good” in any deep sense. It should be sufficient that they follow the law, and it should be the regulatory framework that protects us from undesirable consequences while allowing competition and the free market to flourish.

You might try TD Bank. No one from Canada can be evil.

Ooopsie, TD Bank is one of the banks said to be “directly” funding the Dakota Access Pipeline, and thus Evil.

For a virtuous alternative, I hear that Bob’s Under-The-Mattress gives 10% of its profits to Greenpeace. And they handle 401K investments too. :slight_smile:

Go to Google Maps and search for banks and credit unions within a reasonable distance from where you live. Then eliminate the big corporate banks. Then start looking at their websites for fees, etc. Find some reviews.

As stated with ATMs, direct deposit, online billpay… you can bank from anywhere for most banking needs–but a local bank is useful for things like safety deposit boxes.

I don’t think it’s even necessary to use Google Maps. Just pay attention to which banks or credit unions you see in the neighborhoods where you live and work. If I saw one in particular has branches near my home and office, that would be high on the list of possibilities for me.

Ahhh, but “should be” —but it doesn’t. Chase’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, should be in prison. Chase paid a staggering $28 billion in fines, and has been charged with 48 violations:

Watch those ATMs though. If they’re freestanding, I’ve read that they are easier to hack (because someone can get to the cables themselves). Most are fine, though, but given a choice I won’t use one.

Dewey Finn: Yes, some credit unions are huge. I happen to have an account at Navy Federal, the largest in the country; I was eligible to join because I was working for a DoD client at the time. They’re still less evil because they are not trying to screw you for any profit they can manage, unlike the big banks.

Interestingly, a few years back, we needed to take out a mortgage to purchase a condo for my in-laws. Navy would have written the loan, but required a 15 year payback period (since it would not be owner-occupied, I think it was considered investment property). So I wound up going with one of the megabanks, who offered a 30 year loan. Without naming names, it was a shiti experience: their rates were competitive but at the very last minute, they refused to write the loan due to being 55+ and not owner occupied - both factors I had disclosed RIGHT UP FRONT.

So I called our main credit union (not Navy; we just keep a small balance there but our other money moves through a different one) to see what they could do.

Within 72 hours they had increased the limit on our home equity line of credit, enough to purchase the condo.

Would a megabank have done that? (answer: oh hells no).

I am so reluctant to use non-bank ATMs. I rarely do, but last year I figured I’d give ‘em a chance again, after a few years’ hiatus. This was in a local Chinese restaurant. Lo and behold, a day later I got a call from my credit card (Chase Visa), asking if I was in Mexico and had charge of $300. So it turned out the ATM was rigged. Chase blocked the transaction (one reason I haven’t changed banks or cards yet).

One of my favorite stories:

I have a relative, born, raised, and living in the US. She has always been an enthusiastic Canada booster, for reasons that I’m not entirely clear about. At every opportunity, it seems, she praises Canada and all things Canadian, especially at the expense of the US.

A few years ago I was complaining the bank where my adult daughter keeps her money. Daughter had overdrawn her account. Bank had not let her know in a timely fashion and continued to allow her to use the debit card. Each time she did (typically for small totals like $3.80 or $1.97) they hit her with a $15 overdraft charge. It was all perfectly legal, and it was in the fine print, but it was kind of shabby, and when she politely asked if some or all of the charges could be reversed, first time offender and all, she was told no.

“Too bad [daughter] doesn’t have her account at a Canadian bank,” said my relative. “A Canadian bank would never do anything like that.”

“The account is at TD Bank,” I said, and when she didn’t show any recognition, I clarified: “Toronto Dominion Bank. It IS Canadian.”

Rarely has it been my pleasure to have someone walk so quickly, easily, and fully into a Gotcha. I love this relative dearly, but man oh man was I glad to be able to silence her there, if even for a moment!

In any Wawa I’ve been at the ATMs were PNC Bank machines. Not sure if that means anything wrt hacking, but I’ve used the machines hundreds of times with no issue.

Back to the OP, when we moved to Arizona I kept putting off finding a bank with a local branch - not interested in Chase, no way Wells Fargo, etc. After a year or so I realized that I was not losing anything by sticking with my bank in Pennsylvania - I can deposit checks on my phone, my bank (PNC) reimburses me for non-PNC ATM fees. I am back east a few times a year, I can take care of anything that requires a branch during one of those trips. PNC is not blatantly evil (although I haven’t really looked too hard), and is certainly much more competent than our other PA bank (Citixen’s Bank aka Royal Bank of Scotland) who managed to bungle just about everything we ever asked them to do.

Bottom line: no reason to limit yourself to local banks.

Huh. When they started opening branches near us we always called them “Touchdown Bank”. Never knew what the “TD” stood for.

The wife and I ditched JP Morgan CHASE bank after I noticed the third or fourth time that they were “settling” an OFAC case with the US Department of the Treasury. Basically that means they got caught storing or handling money belonging to known terrorists (a tiny part of my job is to make sure the company I work for doesn’t accidentally do that, so I get all of the USDT’s notices). I guess it’s not impossible for any company to accidentally do business with a terrorist organization and the notices I see tend to include a word or two about the companies voluntarily coming forth and saying “oops” when they discover such a mistake. But the announcements I saw about Chase were the third in four years and my wife and I decided we didn’t want our meager funds to be associated in any way with that kind of loan or savings or transactions.

That was ten years ago and I still see notices about every-other-year saying CHASE got caught again. It’s like they consider the penalty fees to be just another cost of doing business. I wonder if they try to write those fees off their taxes.:mad: Maybe I’m a hypocrite about this; I don’t consider myself to be a super-patriotic person, but I do expect my president and my bank to be super-patriotic and at least obey the laws of the country they’re in.

We moved to a Credit Union and we’re happy enough.
The one problem we see is that they don’t have a Safe Deposit Box.
They say, “Not yet but we’re working on it.” when we ask, but the situation hasn’t changed. It makes me wonder if there’s some kind of law that they’re trying to change before they can offer them to shareholders.
—G!

Business as usual
How dirty we play
Business as usual
Don’t you get in the way
Yeah, make you feel helpless
Make you feel like a clown
Business as usual
Is breakin’ me down
…–Steuart Smith & Don Henley (Eagles)
…Business As Usual
…Long Road Out of Eden