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October 01, 2012

Ameriprise Financial Startles Customers by Abruptly Rolling Up Savings and Loan Operations



Chalk it up to another “banks behaving badly” story, this time from Ameriprise Financial Inc. (AMP). The bank is shutting down, and has known it was shutting down since July. Unfortunately, it only got around to notifying its customers this week.

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Back in July, Ameriprise Financial CEO James Cracchiolo told analysts, “Earlier this month, you likely saw that we are transitioning our federal savings bank to a non-depository national trust bank. While we have grown the bank since launching it in 2006, it is a small part of our overall business. Unfortunately, Dodd-Frank does not distinguish between large consumer banks and companies with limited banking operations like Ameriprise. Once complete, we will no longer be considered a savings and loan holding company.”

It might have been nice to share that info with customers, according to Forbes’ contributor Mark Fidelman, who simply received a letter announcing the shut-down

“Yep, one letter and three weeks’ notice as if to say: sorry, we’ve shut down our bank, and we’re giving you the cue shaft,” writes Fidelman. “Nothing on their website, nothing after logging in to my account, no phone calls, e-mails or any other form of social communication. Even the history of the account has disappeared. It’s all gone. It’s like the bank has been turned into a morgue, and their forsaken accounts are the slabs they lay the Ameriprise client stiffs on.”

While the company may be folding up its savings and loan operations rather unceremoniously, it apparently has interests elsewhere. AMP is reportedly in advanced talks to buy most of ING Groep NV (INGA)’s asset management business in Asia.

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Edited by Brooke Neuman
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