San Diego has many banks and credit unions. These include Wells Fargo, Washington Mutual, Bank of America, Union Bank, San Diego County Credit Union and others which have both office locations in San Diego as well as on line banking. In addition, there are many on line banks which do not have branches in San Diego, California. Our firm of Law Office of Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation does not endorse or represent any of these institutions and the links are provided for reference purposes only. If you have any questions, please feel free to e mail us. There are advantages and disadvantages of using on line banking.
Banks that rely on the Internet and other low-cost ways to provide service, as opposed to “bricks and mortar” branch offices, can save on expenses and pass the savings along to customers in higher returns on deposits and lower interest rates on loans. Online banking also gives customers the convenience of being able to monitor their accounts and complete transactions around the clock, without waiting for mailed statements or being limited by office hours.
The flip side of online banking is that, if a problem arises, you cannot sit down face-to-face with someone from the bank to resolve it. There is also a premium on doing research to check out the legitimacy of an unfamiliar and remote institution before you entrust it with your money and private information. A good place to start is the “About Us” section of a bank’s website, which should at least give basic contact information. If it does not, that in itself should raise suspicions. Other warning signs include names or websites that are only slightly different from those of well-known institutions and rates of return that are far out of line with what other banks are offering. It is a good idea to confirm that an institution is federally insured by contacting the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or searching its “Institution Directory” at www3.fdic.gov/idasp.
Like any bank customer, users of online banking institutions are well-advised to safeguard private identification information, keep good records, and monitor transactions and balances regularly. Online banking customers also have the protection of federal laws such as the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Truth in Lending Act, and the Truth in Savings Act. Those who decide to do their banking solely in front of a computer screen especially should know about the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, which deals with consumer rights involving electronic banking transactions.