Money Service Businesses can’t catch a break. Banks across the United States and Canada continue to shut down MSB accounts and engage in indiscriminate derisking. Cornerstone National Bank is one of the most recent to terminate their MSB relationships, but they are certainly not alone. Merchant’s Bank of California and Wells Fargo are also slowly closing down their MSB bank accounts, and it won’t be long until they eliminate their MSB programs entirely. Anyone who works in the MSB industry is acutely aware of the volatile relationship between banks and MSB as a result of strict compliance laws and AML regulations.
Banks are especially targeting money service business owners who are cashing checks over $1,000 per day per person, specifically commercial check cashers and those cashing US treasury documents. But no MSB is immune from indiscriminate derisking. Not even the length of your banking relationship and your high compliance standards will keep your bank from closing your MSB account.
Recently, we were able to speak with several of our check cashing clients to hear their stories, challenges and needs. Many of them are family run businesses in small communities that rely on them for their check cashing needs. One of our newest National Check and Currency check cashing clients received a termination letter after enjoying a 33 year relationship with his bank.
Anthony Fusco III runs T & S Fusco Inc. with his father in Bristol, PA. Their family business has been operating for over 34 years, and they banked with Wells Fargo for 33 of those years. This past year, Wells Fargo sent the Fuscos an impersonal letter notifying them that their account would be terminated in 30 days.
Anthony was taken aback by this and immediately tried to contact his representatives at Wells Fargo and even wrote letters to the bank. But no solutions were presented, no explanation was given. Although Anthony was aware of the possibility of derisking, he trusted his longstanding banking relationship and didn’t expect them to close his MSB account.
Anthony knew about NCC through some industry connections, so he called NCC founder and CEO, Andy Benjamin when they were scrambling to find a bank account. He notes, “I was sold when I discovered how much Andy and NCC knew about my industry. They are experts in every part of the business. If this can happen to our MSB after 33 years with a bank, I don’t want to gamble again. NCC is always working on a back-up plan through multiple banking partners and they are always ready to help us. NCC is the real deal.”
National Check and Currency receives a steady stream of MSB bank account applications from ex big bank MSBs. When they receive a call from a panicked check casher, they jump into action to find a solution and keep their MSB up and running. In this uncertain financial climate, they are able to serve the MSB industry with redundant banking partners for banking continuity.
It is important to note that when a bank decides to terminate an MSB bank account, the MSB has to shut down. The community that the MSB serves experiences a gap in the availability of financial services including, but not limited to: check cashing, money transfer, money orders, wires, and foreign currency exchange. Therefore, derisking affects not only the MSB, but their community as well.
MSB owner Katherine knew she was in trouble when her long term bank notified her that her account would close right before Thanksgiving. Her MSB, Loch Raven Check Cashing, is located in Towson, MD and serves many families in their community. Receiving her account termination notice right before the holidays was especially stressful because she knew her clients were relying on her services to fund their family during the holiday season. Being a 20 year customer of Wells Fargo made no difference and her longtime account rep knew nothing of the termination letter and offered no solutions to the problem.
She found NCC right away when she searched online for an MSB bank. She remembers that she called Andy Benjamin of NCC around 10 or 11pm at night and she couldn’t believe it when he answered the phone right away. After the cold treatment she received from her bank, finding NCC was hugely encouraging for their business. Not only did NCC communicate, but they swiftly solved her problem and helped her avoid costly and devastating interruptions in business. Katherine remarks, “National Check and Currency guided me through the transition process, helped me get my ducks in a row, and worked hard until my problem was solved.”
Each of these check cashers facing indiscriminate bank account termination had one thing in common: they suddenly found themselves in a dire situation. Across the board, National Check and Currency was able to swiftly secure new bank accounts and keep businesses in operation. From the second an MSB calls NCC, their expert team goes into action to keep them banked.
National Check and Currency continues to bridge the financial services gap with real MSB bank accounts and redundant financial partnerships that ensure banking continuity. Amidst murky Federal regulation and questionable banking practices, NCC is a haven for Money Service Businesses. Are you ready to leave your bank behind and experience the peace of mind that comes with redundant banking partners? Apply for your MSB account today!