On January 3, 2018, I called my local SunTrust branch in order to find their rate on an IRA Certificate of Deposit. Since the rate seemed to be good, I ask the bank that currently held my IRA (Fidelity Bank) to facilitate the transfer.
Fidelity gave me a check made payable to SunTrust for my benefit. When I got to SunTrust, however, they refused to give me a Truth in Savings Agreement that provided the disclosures of the CD agreement. This would include things like whether the rate is fixed or variable, the frequency of any rate changes, the limit to the amount of rate change, the frequency of compounding of interest, minimum balance requirements, the balance computation method, and penalties for early withdrawal, among other important disclosures. All SunTrust provides to their customers is a receipt for the money received and a copy of their general policies and procedures.
Since SunTrust can change their policies and procedures anytime they wish, this would mean that I would be entering into an open-ended agreement with them that they could change to their benefit any time. After learning this, I declined their offer for the CD. I believe that this is a dishonest way for a bank to do business. However now I was stuck with a check made payable to SunTrust, so I asked the bank manager, Sam Girgis, how I could transfer my IRA to another bank.
He said the best way was open a Money Market IRA with SunTrust, and they could write a check to the new bank. I specifically asked him and the banker who was helping me, Monika Cuellar, if there would be any charge for me doing this or if there would be any problem with me getting the funds the next day. They both assured me that there would not be any delay in me transferring the funds from them to another bank immediately. On January 4, 2018, I found another bank (Hamilton State Bank) who had an agreeable rate and would provide me with a Truth in Savings Agreement.
I called SunTrust the same day and asked them to make arrangements to transfer the funds to Hamilton State Bank. They told me that they were going to hold the funds for some period of time but were not sure how long. I went into the SunTrust branch and spoke with Mr. Girgis again.
He said that he was sorry that he told me that there would not be hold. He said that he was not sure how long the hold would be but that he had made a call and as soon as he heard back from the person he made the call to, he would call me back. He called me back and told me that the funds would be held until January 10, 2018. On January 10, 2018, I went into another SunTrust branch to get the check which was supposed to be made out to Hamilton State Bank.
The branch manager, Courtney Anglin, told me that she would reimburse the interest I had lost because of the delay in the transferring the funds to Hamilton State Bank if I would sign a form that stated I was personally receiving the funds as an early distribution from an IRA before the age of 59 1/2. This, of course, was incorrect. Since this information needs to be submitted correctly to the IRS, I asked her if she could not correct the form showing that it was a transfer to another bank, as it should have been, but she said she could not. I then asked Hamilton State bank to request a direct transfer to them from SunTrust.
SunTrust held the funds for another day and finally transferred to Hamilton State Bank on January 11, 2018. During this whole process, it was clear to me that SunTrust just wanted to keep the funds as long as possible, continually trying to convince me to open another CD with them. SunTrust is all about sales and could care less about how customers are treated. On February 9.
2018, I received a letter from Thomas Farias, the person SunTrust has hired to respond to their numerous complaints. In his letter he merely recapped some of the facts I have related above but offered no resolution whatsoever. It is clear to me that SunTrust does not regret this incident, could care less about the hardship that it caused, and has no intention of changing its business practices in the future. I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, but I do not believe that they are any longer a credible reference for consumers to use for rating businesses because despite the hundreds of negative complaints against SunTrust that the BBB has received (96% of the total reviews are negative), SunTrust still has an “A+” rating with them.
If it were up to me and the other customers they have abused, SunTrust should have an “F.” I believe customers should be able to trust the branch manager of their bank, so if a branch manager makes a customer a promise, SunTrust should honor it. SunTrust should provide all customers with a Truth in Savings Agreement for time accounts and stop being deceptive with their customers. SunTrust should provide accurate information to the IRS regarding IRA transfers. SunTrust should also advise their customers if they intend to place a hold on funds deposited with them on the day that the deposit is made instead of concealing the fact.
I have since cancelled the other two accounts that I had with SunTrust and do not intend to do business with them ever again. Do not trust the Better Business Bureau rating of “A+” for SunTrust. A brief on-line search will reveal thousands of customer reviews that tell of the horrible way that SunTrust treats its customers. Please don’t make the mistake I did.
Choose another bank.
It would be better if you never set foot in a SunTrust bank. Don’t trust SunTrust.
Product or Service Mentioned: Suntrust Banking Service.
Reason of review: Fraud.
Monetary Loss: $36.
Preferred solution: Full refund.
I didn't like: Dishonest business practices.