If you live in the Pacific Northwest, chances are that you may have heard of this bank called Homestreet Bank, well in all probability you haven’t and neither had I. They did however offer something called a Seahawks checking account and I was intrigued. Being a hawks fan and seeing a decent bonus with the account I decided to apply. This is where things went downhill.

I had often heard about elitist banks who would turn down customers for checking or savings accounts, but never understood the concept. It makes sense to refuse credit to customers but why would you turn down someone’s deposit . This is my first experience with it. I for one have nice credit, never missed a payment, the only black mark on my credit/Chex is maybe too many recent accounts which none of the other biggies like Chase, WF, BofA etc. ever cared for.

I applied online with a large deposit and all seemed to be well, my deposit was accepted and I was asked to sign over some papers and send for a signature record. I don’t hear anything for a few days, no welcome or courtesy phone call, no other communication on email. A few days later I receive a small letter from them telling me that due to my Chex report I have been denied for the account.

Yowsa ! Apparently me not having assets makes me ineligible for having a checking account (it listed a few other reasons also, 5 if I remember correctly). Someone was making good use of their analyst position and justifying their pay check I see.

Anyway, they said my deposit would be refunded. I sent them a letter few times, it was only when I threatened a complaint with the regulators that they actually became serious about the returning money part and involved their higher ups. They claim they had refunded my money long ago.

I got my money back around 2 weeks after my initial deposit. So someone was earning sweet interest on money they didn’t want for 2 weeks. When I sent them a mail telling them that my money is with me, not even a thank you for letting them know. This after apparently their higher ups in customer service were personally looking at my request. Wow, arrogance personified.

Personally I have decided never to transact with Homestreet bank in my life and to dissuade all friends and family from doing so. Only slight problem is that none of my family and co-workers have ever heard of Homestreet bank. Oh well, job half done then !