I've had it with Wells Fargo. I'm leaving.

Wells Fargo sign

I inherited Wells Fargo when it purchased Wachovia.

Everything had been all right.

My checking account was still free, and I encountered no problems with the bank.

My only real complaint was that new Wells drive-through ATMs were all built at SUV level, which made doing any banking from my Honda Civic difficult and made me feel like I was not their target customer.

But I was uneasy parking my money with Wells.

Wells Fargo is an evil big bank.

It's allegedly robo-signed foreclosures, screwed its poorest customers with overdraft fees and peddled super-expensive subprime mortgages to people who couldn't afford them.

It was enough to make me want to wash my hands after using the ATM.

But the compounding of a vacation and the hectic holidays had me holding back in making the switch to a local bank or credit union. Lazy, I know, and bad on my part, but I just hadn't gotten around to it.

Until now.

Starting Feb. 15, I no longer have the right to sue Wells Fargo.

According to a leaflet they mailed to me in December, by staying with Wells, my only option if I have a problem with the bank is to settle it through private arbitration, and I can no longer be part of a class-action lawsuit.

If have a problem with the bank, I must rely on a private arbitrator -- not a judge and jury -- to settle the claim.

And as Consumerism Commentary points out, I would not only have to pay fees to the arbitrator, but arbitrators generally side with the business, not the individual.

This is outrageous. Wells is effectively stripping its customers of all but a bare minimum of legal rights.

Do I ever expect to sue Wells Fargo?

No. I also don't expect to get cancer, but I have health insurance just in case.

Staying with Wells isn't worth the convenience anymore. Time to talk with my money and move it.

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