How to protect your financial accounts - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

How to protect your financial accounts

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)
(KFVS) -

The Illinois' State Treasurer announced on October 3, 2016 that all state business with Wells Fargo is on hold.

This comes after reports said that employees opened millions of accounts without the permission or knowledge of their customers.

"Today I'm suspending $30 billion in investment activity with Wells Fargo," treasurer Michael Frerichs said.  "Their predatory & illegal banking practices require a strong response."

Frerichs also ordered an audit to see if the company has violated any of the state's unclaimed property laws.  

LPL Registered Principal Bart Grant said staying on top of your finances these days can be challenging and he has some tips for all of us when it comes to your financial security.

"Know your bank relationship and know what accounts you have open, there's no sense in leaving one there just for them to charge a fee every month or every quarter," Grant said. 

Wells Fargo is dealing with repercussions after millions of accounts were opened unknowingly.

"And that's what was happening with Wells Fargo it was just a fee that they were getting on the accounts it wasn't that it was necessarily affecting their credit score," Grant said. 

But, what about your account? When it comes to saving for retirement, your everyday bank account, or credit card.

How do you check to keep yourself safe?

"Whenever you have a 401K with Wells Fargo, or a retirement plan, or whatever I mean there was obviously a fee you're already paying already anyway," Grant said.

"But, I think the issue that Wells had was multiple accounts you know and it there were just in order to meet a sales quota they had to open up more accounts, more accounts, more accounts and that's just because of the fee more than anything it's not that they were trying to take peoples money they were just trying to charge a fee."

Grant said if you have a credit card going to annualcreditreport.com is the best way to make sure nothing is unknowingly influencing your credit score.

"So over the year you get three credit reports that are free, and that will list all of your accounts the you have open typically,  shows you when you opened them how active they are and things like that and that will show you things that you aren't aware of." 

And when it comes to your everyday bank account it's simple.

"All you got to do is say here's my social security number, give me every bank account listed under that social security number," Grant said. 

Grant said keeping an eye especially on your credit score will help in the long run.

"Cause your score is your score, and everything is based on that score," he said. "I mean whether you get your life insurance that you apply for whether you get a good rate or not that's affected by your score ,whether you get a good interest rate on a car loan, or whether you get approved on anything..."

"I mean that score is the most important score you'll ever have, and so you got to protect it and you got to watch it.

You need to contact the credit report agency and tell them you did not open that account if you do see something, and the same goes for your bank account.    

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Copyright 2016 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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