Banking in the 21st century, as practiced by MBB (MyBigBank). Here are some of the highlights of our recent application for a Home Equity Line of Credit.

The application process itself was not too onerous. The loan origination people were on it, and we didn’t have to do all that much re-supplying of information they already had about us. The salespeople were able to clinch the sale.

There was a certain amount of this, but we’ve almost gotten inured to chaotic bombardment – in this case, multiple mailings of duplicative information.

BoA Mail

Some excitement occurred mid-approval process, when an unidentified rep called to say that MBB was “reconsidering the terms of the offer.” The call was dropped, and multiple (9) calls to the loan servicing centers, located in different parts of the country and without complete access to our information yielded nothing. Calls to the loan origination person went to voicemail. Eventually this seemed to fade away.

On the day of the closing, we went to the branch to sign multiple documents with a notary. When asked a question, the bank rep went through the public 800 number to get an answer. We know this happens, but it’s always a shock to see it in practice.

The branch visit gave us a look into the future of banking, as seen by MBB:

Telephone Banking

Apparently you can come into the branch, and then do your banking by phone. A stapler is supplied, in case you want to drive staples into your head, but you cannot sit down.

The loan closed. When I tried to activate the credit card I received in the mail, the rep told me they had no record of my name on the account and that they could not answer any questions because they were a “third-party provider.” My wife managed to activate the cards and we cut them up.

Finally, we received checks in the mail. My name is spelled wrong.

Some thoughts for MBB:

  • Make one person responsible for the loan experience, from end-to-end
  • Use existing customer data to eliminate the need to re-collect information
  • Give reps access to the tools and information they need to help
  • Don’t outsource important processes to third parties
  • Don’t publish a phone number over someone’s signature unless the phone number will connect you to that person – we’re on to the fake-personalization thing
  • Audit and reform the card-activation process, which is driving up costs and irritating customers


  • Check your spelling.

Finally, good luck with your telephone banking thingie there!

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