This morning we decided it was time for our son to have his own bank account. He was very resistant, with comments like "I don't want to be part of the corrupt system" and "You want me to do this because it's the mainstream thing to do" and "How long is this going to take?" Hard to argue those points. But the real reason why I wanted him to do it was because he is now getting paychecks and expects a quick turnaround from his parents cashing them. After one annoying phone call at work with a lament that went something like "where can I get some cash, dad took the check and then never gave me the money and I don't have any small bills," like I was supposed to run cross town to hand him a $5 bill. So I thought, that's it, cash your own damn checks.
I gave him the choice of going to the People's Credit Union, which might gel with his anti-corruption political views, or Chase Bank, which has ATMs on every corner and in every Duane Reade. He chose Chase. They have a high school checking program, which has no minimum balance requirement, doesn't allow for overdrafts, and parents have access to the account. The savings account choice gets something like .05% interest, and only allows 4 ATM transactions per month before fees kick in.
As we sat at the desk with the young man filling out the forms online, we noticed the white haired homeless man who is usually found in front of Gristedes, standing perfectly framed in the little window over the banker's desk, vomiting profusely. It's exactly how we all feel about banks these days, and the perfect first impression of our son's new bank account.