Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.

For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.

Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!

E-mail us here.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 9, 2012 8:49 AM. The previous post in this blog was Belt and suspenders. The next post in this blog is Nothing but happy talk from Portland media. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
Willamette Week
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Honeymoon's over at Umpqua Bank

It's been two years since we pulled our banking business out of Chase Bank. We were gratified to get those thieving magpies out of our life. And we found a nice local bank, Umpqua Bank from Roseburg, who made us feel quite at home. Not only was our checking free, with no minimum balance, but we got 2% interest on the checking balance, free ATM use at other banks, and for a while they would even throw $10 a month into a savings account if we'd agree to put $50 a month in there ourselves and keep a $200 savings balance. We had to get a paperless monthly statement and use our debit card 10 times a month, but neither of those was a big deal. "Hip" checking, they called it.

We knew it wouldn't last forever -- especially the $10 deposit part, which had an explicit, set expiration date -- but now all the other goodies are gone too. Yesterday Umpqua broke the news to us that unless we're willing to commit to an average monthly balance of $500, we'll be stripped down to a no-fee, non-interest-bearing checking account with no ATM freebies at other banks.

That's kind of a drag, but the worst part of the notice was the way they handled the transition. Unless we told them otherwise, they were going to throw us into an account with a $15 monthly fee unless we kept a $2,500 balance. That would have been a nasty surprise, and it seems heavy-handed on their part to make that the default rule if the customer didn't call in and stop it.

We did call, of course, and we got a nice person on the phone who said she moved us into the no-fee, no-minimum account. But suddenly our friendly neighborhood bank feels much like the big, bad banks we were trying to avoid. And so now we'll have to regard them with some suspicion. We have a feeling that another bad shoe will drop before too long.

Comments (36)

So what local bank or credit union would you recommend to this newcomer? I have landed myself a job and would like to remove myself from BoA in the near future.

Of course, Umpqua will be taking a bit of a haircut here:

As an OnPoint Credit Union member for many years, I don't recommend going over there. Since Cliff Dias fleeced the membership as CEO, they are nothing special.

Have done a lot of research on the industry.

It costs a commercial bank over $150 a year for each account, so if they do not get fee income they're losing money. Used to be they made a lot on interest earned from deposits, but with short term rates near 0%, there's no income from that.

Credit unions spend less per account, but offer less, have weaker security, smaller networks, don't always report accounts to credit scoring agencies, and have less regulatory oversight. They also are nonprofits, so there are no shareholders to pay dividends to. They offer good deals, but behind the scenes your getting less.

That's the tradeoff.

I agree Jack. I have banked with Onpoint (Portland Teachers) since 1978 ( I was 14).

As Onpoint they suck. I loved the commercial I heard that attacked the big banks for attaching all kinds of fees to their accounts....right as Onpoint attached an annual fee to my credit line that has been open (and fee-less) since 1986.

Sadly, the choices to move to are wearing thin.

You're giving magpies a bad name...

I've been with Advantis Credit Union for about 4 years. I really like them & haven't had any bad experiences there. They dont' have a lot of branches, but you can use other credit unions' ATMs at no charge.

I would second the recommendation of Advantis. They've got a checking account that pays 2% interest on the first 30k in the account (but requires 12 debit card transactions per month). I'm a little confused by the poster who indicated lax security at CUs - if I fail to notify the CU when I go out of state, I get a cell phone call to confirm that I'm the one using the card.

PMG, Advantis recently reduced the maximum balance for the 2% interest rate to 25k. Everything over 25k just only gets 0.1.

I just switched to Advantis last month, thus I can't comment much on their service, but I can say that when I was looking for a new place to keep my money they offered the terms that I found to be the most agreeable out of the places I checked out.

OnPoint may have some issues, but they are still much better than any of the major US banks. We are in the middle of transferring from Chase to OnPoint and I haven't had any problems.

Actually, PACE was far better as a CU - until they merged with another CU to form what became known as Advantis. I agree, however, that the new entity still beats OnPoint.


I received the same Umpqua mailer. What struck me was that there were five different types of checking accounts. Does one bank really need five types of retail checking accounts? Actually six, the type of account they converted me to isn't even on the mailer!

I’ve been with PACE/Advantis for over 25 years. They are simply the best!


Banks earn interest by loaning money, and the rates they loan at are not near zero.

Credit Unions do not have “weaker security” than a bank in any way.

The $150.00 “cost per account” means nothing, certainly not that a bank loses money on each “account” opened for which it does not collect $150.00 in fees, which is what is implied.

You sound like a shill for banks.

Which is a shame, because bank services should be paid for – it’s a service that we buy and deserves to make money. But the obfuscation that is endemic to the industry (sadly both commercial and investment – the two are now so intertwined that it’s sick making), makes it easy for the public to see all bankers as no better than crooks.

I got a letter from Rivermark CU 10 days before Christmas telling me they were cancelling my credit card. They kept the interest rate the same and the minimum payment didn't go up, but it was bad form to cancel during the holiday buying season, methinks.

Otherwise I would have recommended them.

I am a long time customer of Albina Community Bank and have been very happy with their high quality / low cost service. They have a good presence in NE Portland.

Several years ago, I moved my account from Chase to Bank of Oswego, and have moved several other accounts there since. Never a line, either at the teller or the drive-thru.

They work hard to get to know you so they can treat you like an honest adult, rather than as someone who is trying to scam the bank. I couldn't be happier and won't have to travel by streetcar!

Jack, thanks for your feedback. We hope the honeymoon isn’t truly over and that this message is the first step to rekindle the good feelings you have about banking with us.

You’re right that our old account features couldn’t remain the same in the current environment. We took great care in creating our new offerings to include the services our customers want most. We also took equal care to offer each customer the account that would fit them best, but clearly missed the boat for you and we’re sorry to hear that the way we made the change let you down. We’re as committed as always to serving you and all our customers, and I hope it shows that there’s no need for worry.

Rick Calero
Executive Vice President, Community Banking
Umpqua Bank

First Tech and Advantis are the best. Never any fees, employees who are competent, well paid, and happy to assist you.

The BEST rates for loans also, dare to compare! - their online banking is amazing and free bill pay too, it's pretty slick!

Thanks, folks! I'll be checking out Advantis and First Tech post haste!

Advantis is great! Easy online features. Great loan products. Not enough locations, but I keep a no fee checking close and transfer between banks.

Many credit unions are part of the Co-op network, so free ATMs can be found nationwide.

Maybe you can get a taxable toaster somewhere.

Ever hear of Frank-Dodd? Could there just be a connection between these latest rounds of bank fees and all these new reulations?

Careful Dave. If you dig too deep you'll find some real crap.

Ah, for the bad old days.

When U.S. bank PAID 5 % on deposits, CHARGED 7% on loans, had no hidden "gotsya" fees, and they MADE MONEY !

You knew the branch manager and he knew YOU and your family, he had the authority to fix any problem, you saw each other in church and if you were late paying a loan, it was a family shame.

If the branch treated you badly, you could call up John Elorriaga and he would return your call since he was seen everywhere all of the time.

But that was back when bank robbers didn't work on the top floor of the bank.

We have been using Columbia State Bank for many years after having several small banks bought, traded, etc. leaving our accounts with WaMu then Chase.

I have fee-free checking for our joint personal accounts as well as my business. The service at the local branch I deal with most has been excellent.

Columbia has branches in Washington and Oregon.

FWIW, I have no relationship with Columbia beyond being a satisfied customer.

Don't confuse security with security theatre.

If you travel out of state they call your home to verify that you are out of state. Be sure to tell the maid it is OK to verify you are out of town to anyone who calls.

Addison..., er FirstTechCU challenges you if you attempt to access your account online from a "new" IP address. Forget that most folks don't have fixed IP (your cable box) addresses and that your IP address changes every time you power-down.

Security? Only in getting kickbacks from the vendors of junque services and products. You know, like parking meters!

Bank By Train!

I use Advantis. They are very conscientious.

Still, it's probably good to check or Weiss or some other rating agency from time to time.

Anything is subject to mission-creep, or worse, mission-flip.

I think some of you should pool resources and start your own bank and offer free checking to your customers, free ATM's, no minimums... make it all free. It looks like some of you think that would be a great business model.

I recommended Umpqua to folks who had to have a bank and didn't want a credit union (Rivermark is very nice), but no more --- Umpqua has recently joined the thug banks in imposing a "check the constitution at the door to the bank" arbitration clause for all their accounts, including a ban on class action suits. Screw that. I've never sued anyone and hope I never do, but I'm damned if I'll have a bank put a "heads we wind, tails you lose" clause in our deal. Companies want to impose arbitration because that stacks the deck in their favor every time. The arbitrators well know and understand who chooses the arbitrators next time, and the time after, and the time after ... And it aint you and me.

I've moved to a local credit union after the whole $5 debit card fee but I still have $2 in my BofA checking account. They recommended I keep it open when I went in.

So I did hoping that some day they'll change the rules so that it carries a fee. That fee will overdraft the account then I can go in and get all pissy about them trying to charge me $30+ for overdrafting on an account that hadn't been used in 6 months and counting.

Yeah. That will be a fun day.

I've been with PACE / Advantis. But a few years ago, I switched over to Unitus Credit Union and haven't looked back.

EB, you are right that a bank makes money loaning out your deposits. But if your deposits are minimal and you engage in a lot of transactions, then there is no way the bank is making a profit from your account.

That's not being a shill for banks, that's basic economics. The era of free checking was at first supported by banks having a near monopoly as a place to put money and engage in transactions (paper checks); now the competition for both services is legion. The second era of free checking was floated on top of unrealistic mortgage loan profits (think Washington Mutual).

There are free checking options, but the era of free paper checks, free paper statements, free unlimited debit card transactions, and interest on your account when you maintain a balance under $2500 is long gone. I'm surprised Umpqua held out so long.

My own banking is done at Charles Schwab Bank, which has free checking, refunds all ATM fees, charges no foreign transaction fees, and has free overdraft protection (BUT you have to have sufficient funds in a savings, money market, or investment sweep account).

Banner Bank is another internet bank that has a local branch downtown.

For local banking, I still think Umpqua is the cream of the crop, and their offerings are still the best. Used to be with OnPoint but they really degraded once they were no longer PTCU.

Hey thanks above for the Advantis links, they look very good. The Fusion checking looks nice except for the annoying requirement that you log in to online checking once a cycle (why do they care if you already get electronic statements, have direct deposit, and have 12 debit card transactions monthly).

Still, the only "penalty" is that they don't refund the ATM fees if you don't meet the requirements.

The average daily deposit limit for their standard free, interest checking is just $1000.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 113
At this date last year: 155
Total run in 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

Clicky Web Analytics