Atlantic Union Bank Destroys A Good Bank

On May 20, 2019, I got the news, Atlantic Union Bank acquired Access National Bank… the Press Release should have read Atlantic Union Bank Destroys a Good Bank. Or Atlantic Union Bank can’t suck enough. Or here comes the boom. Or Do You Love Your Bank… We’ll Fix that.

First let me tell you about my old bank, Access National. In 2010, I had lunch with Henry Barratt, former Managing Director of the venture capital firm, Blue Water Captial. He had just joined Access National Bank. He was a business banker. I needed a new business bank. Boom, I signed up with Access. Henry left the bank and soon after that Diane Holland called me to let me know she would be managing my account and I could expect great service She kept her promise… up until May 2019.

It’s an odd thing to love your bank, but I loved Access. Let me give you a couple of examples or reasons why.

  1. ATM – Access didn’t have many branches or ATMs, Instead, they had a policy of reimbursing ATM fees when I used other bank’s ATMs anywhere in the US, Access would reimburse the ATM fees.
  2. Online Banking Support – They were proactive. One Sunday evening, I got locked out of my account for several password fails. The next morning as I was driving to a meeting, I received a call from the bank. The support rep said, she noticed I had been locked out of my account. She asked if that was me and proceeded to unlock the account for me. The next time, I logged on to my account… it worked. Whenever I called with a technical issue I’d be put right through to a service rep and the issue would be promptly resolved.
  3. Proactive Bankers – Oftentimes, a check would hit my business checking account and I didn’t have enough cash in that account. Instead of bouncing the request, the support staff at Access would routinely call me and offer to move cash from my personal account to my business accounts.
  4. Diane Holland – Diane is a VP and the Financial Service Center Manager. She was also the Relationship Manager over my account. If I ever needed anything, she was available and helpful. There were a couple of times, I needed a conference room for a meeting and Diane let me use a conference room in her office.
  5. Online Banking Application – Originally my only complaint about Access was their online banking. It was cumbersome with a user interface that looked like it was designed by a blind, psychotic, chimpanzee trained to torture humans by the Spanish Inquisition. To login, I needed a stupid thing called a Company ID, which was an 8 digit random number that I had to commit to memory. The number was completely random. It had nothing to do with me and I can hardly remember my phone number. So I had to look that number up every time I accessed my online account. Some times I confuse my account numbers with the daily lottery pick. After entering this random 8 digit number, I had to enter my user ID which I was able to create and a user-defined password I could create on my own following normal rules which the application forced me to change to a completely new unique password every 3 months and never allowed me to use the same password twice. In 2012, they updated and upgraded the app. It wasn’t as good as apps I’d used from Wells Fargo but Access had never contributed to bringing down the US economy so it was good enough for me. It was easy to logon and had a decent UI.

That all changed in May of this year. Allow me to compare the Access Notional Model to what the ass hats at Atlantic Union Bank offer.

  1. ATM – No fee to use an Atlantic Union Bank ATM and there are about 100 branches… so if you never leave Virginia you’re okay. But if you need cash in DC, or Maryland or North Carolina or New York or North Carolina, you’re paying a fee.
  2. Online Banking Support – Call them and sit on hold for 10 minutes.
  3. Proactive Bankers – Well I did get a call from them saying that someone was trying to withdraw $30,000 from my account and I didn’t have $30,000 in the account, they asked if I wanted to transfer money from my personal account. I told them to ignore the request. They charged me $30 not to send the money.
  4. Diane Holland – She’s still there and she’s still a great lady, yet her hands are tied by company policy. she’ll help when she can. My guess is that a bank that values its customers is going to scoop Diane Holland up. They can contact her via email: DianeHolland@AtlanticUnionBank.com or her Office Phone: 703.871.7393 or drop me a line and I’ll give you her mobile number (Note To Diane: Hi Diane if you’re reading this, I hope you don’t mind but you should not have to deal with customers angered by your new bosses lack of focus on customer service. You’re better than this crappy bank).
  5. Online Banking Application – I can’t believe it, they actually have rolled back the online application to the same crappy application Access used before they upgraded a few years ago. It sucked when Access offered it which is why Access dumped it and it sucks now!

Screw that!

I’m opening a CapitalOne account. Sure they were recently hacked… I’m thinking I’d rather be at a bank that was recently hacked than one that hasn’t been hacked…. yet. Everything can be hacked. And CapitalOne has a large competent cybersecurity team, Atlantic Union Bank has lollipops in their branches.

Last week I walked into my local Capital One branch and met with a young lady in the Oakton Branch named Lani Tran. Ms. Tran was effecient and helpful. Capital One? If you’re listening. You should take good care of this lady! She represents you well. She’s about to graduate from GMU and if I were you, I’d give her a job in IT.

Here’s what I like about Capital One:

  1. ATM – They have about 2,000 ATMs in eight states and these states: Massachusetts, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Texas, and Virginia
  2. Online Application– They are an online bank first. A great application!
  3. Diane Holland – She’s not working there… yet, but they have Lani Tran.
  4. CNN Money 8 Least Evil Bank – Rated along with: Ally, ING (Capital One Acquired ING), USAA, Alliant Credit Union, PNC, The Incredible Bank, Charles Schwab
  5. They’re Local – The one of the DC Areas Great Success Stories
  6. They Are A Tech Company
  7. Branch Offices – They have some cool branches, CapitalOne Cafe’s that Double as a Peete’s Coffee… I love Peete’s!
  8. They Don ‘t Suck – Which means they are not Atlantic Union Bank
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