We’ve banked at Wachovia for the past couple of years, after defecting from Commerce (outside of Sunday hours they were 100% awful), after we had defected from Chase (who had a fee addiction and the closest branch was downtown Westfield until this year), and even before from Citi.

And we’ve actually been happy with Wachovia. After some setup problems, they’ve been responsive, they answer the phone, their online banking is adequate, the bill pay service is good and they haven’t been at all nickel-dimey.

Now, because they bought GoldenWest Financial a while back (and its now-stinky portfolio of loans), we may end up back in the unwelcome arms of Citibank should they take them over.

That’s a bummer. They were too aggressive in acquiring companies a few years back and it looks like it will cost them.

If they hook up with Wells it may be better, as Wells Fargo has little if any eastern presence in retail banking and it would be a decent fit. Banco Santander may not be too bad and on the plus side there wouldn’t be ATM fees if we ever go use one in Spain.

But Citi? Ugh.

Why Ugh? Too easy to get lost in the shuffle…departments didn’t talk, and getting anything done besides a check deposit seemed to take effort. Getting a credit line was next to impossible (when we left we got one instantly at the next bank). And don’t forget they’re under pressure too with their portfolio and recent bad quarters. Think there’d still be choices on the north and south side? Expect even more vacant storefronts in town.

We’re not moving our money yet. We’re rooting for a deal by the, um, esteemed representatives in Washington by the end of the weekend so a minimum of stupidity happens Monday.

We’ll see.

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