Smith Barney Pulling Out the Stops to Delay Transfers - Trying to Stop a Run on the Bank

I've been trying to move large amounts of money out of Smith Barney to the higher yielding online savings and CD accounts listing on this site. This week, Smith Barney made it very difficult.

I tried to open several online savings and CD accounts this week in order to take advantage of some of the rates listed on this website.  At each turn, I found myself wholly stymied by Smith Barney which is my main bank.  Each time I tried to transfer money into a new account by ACH, the transfer took a day or two longer than normal, and the online test payments that some banks require to open an account (such as ELoan or WTDirect) never came through at all.

I've never experienced any slowness or delay in my transfers with Smith Barney before.  This week it felt like I was dealing using dial-up instead of broadband.  Everything was happening in slow motion. 

It seems that they were trying to delay or ward off the outflows that the Citibank was risking when it announced the merger of Smith Barney with Morgan Stanley at the beginning of the week, and by the end of the week they were doing everything that they could to avert a bank run.

I experienced similar difficulties in late 2007 when ETrade stopped answering the phone as everybody rushed to move their monies out in order to get below SIPC limits.

Never dreamed that I would live through a bank run, but this is it.

For the record, I am sure that assets with Smith Barney will be fine.  I understand why they slowed their systems down, but it frustrated me as I am moving money for better rates.

Jason Rodgers
Jason Rodgers: Jason Rodgers was an experienced research analyst for a major bank prior to retiring to run his own investment consultancy in beautiful Lihue, Hawaii. Jason contributed articles to BestCashCow from 2008 to 2014.

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