What to expect when your bank sells your checking account

By November 30, 2018Articles

Customers of one of the biggest banks will soon see another name atop their favorite branch.

Flagstar welcomed more than 50,000 Wells Fargo customers Friday. Branches formerly owned by Wells Fargo will close for the weekend and reopen on Monday as Flagstar branches.

Wells Fargo announced in early June that it was selling 52 branches in the Midwest to Flagstar Bank, a midsize federal savings bank based in Troy, Michigan. The move means there will be no Wells Fargo branches in Indiana, Michigan or Ohio. Wisconsin will lose four branches, leaving 48 locations for customers in that state.

Even if you barely visit a physical branch, you should understand what’s going to happen to your Wells Fargo checking or savings account.

What’s being sold

Wells Fargo is selling roughly $2.3 billion in deposits. In the states impacted by the acquisition, Flagstar will take over:

  • Consumer and small business deposit accounts (including debit cards).
  • Personal loans.
  • Small business loans.
  • Direct auto loans.
  • Business direct (both commercial and industrial).

Wells Fargo is holding on to its other accounts in the Midwest, including:

  • Consumer and small business credit cards.
  • Home loans.
  • Investment and wealth management.
  • Indirect auto loans (through dealerships).
  • Wholesale banking.
  • Business banking.

All 490 team members affected by the sale received offers to work at Flagstar, which will reach out to customers with the accounts they’re acquiring.

Steps to take now

Customers should take steps to prepare for the transition. Former Wells Fargo customers in the region will not be able to access online banking over the weekend. Debit cards won’t work either. Some ATMs may be unavailable, but you’ll be able to withdraw cash fee-free from one of Flagstar’s 56,000 ATMs, which you can find at many stores like Target and CVS. If your account is being transferred to Flagstar, note that you’ll also be unable to make bill payments, send money through Zelle or make or change any transfers of funds from your account.

Once you’ve received your new debit/ATM card from Flagstar, you can activate it over the phone (844-368-1838). Starting on Monday morning, you’ll also need to sign up for online banking through Flagstar online or through the bank’s app.

Smooth transition?

The branches Flagstar is acquiring are in an area the bank has operated in for more than 30 years, a bank spokesperson says. The bank already has nearly 100 branches in Michigan and a handful in California. It also operates nationwide as the fifth largest bank mortgage lender.

Keep reading on Bankrate.