There are fantastic features of schwab that make it the best banking experience I've ever had. I have my checking/savings/brokerage/IRA/401k ALL through schwab, and I never pay fees for ATMs, transfers, deposits, checks, ETF trades, or annuals. There are no minimum balances, and you can start with only a brokerage/checking account. In addition to the great features, I get immensely great service through the charles schwab mobile app for iPad and iPhone where I can not only check on my accounts, but take pictures of checks for deposit (into any account I have) and do research for stocks, funds, and ETFs. Plus, if I call with a question, or visit my branch with an appointment, I get helpful advice from certified financial planners that are intelligent, well mannered, and WANT to build a relationship with you to foster your growth. Heck, I even get a quarterly magazine with great investment advice that I can also view on my iPad. This review may sound like I'm financially savvy, but I started using a simple schwab checking account while I was still in college, and as my career and wealth begins to grow, Schwab has helped me along the way for over 6 years.
I had a copy of a check I needed to deposit (original was destroyed) in my Schwab account but the local branch manager (West Portal Branch in San Francisco) refused to accept it. Telling me it was not "standard" even though the copy is as legal as making a deposit through your smart phone where you take a picture (create a copy) to deposit it. Very frustrating experience. Now I have to go back to issuing bank, request a stop payment on the old check and have them reissue all to satisfy this middle level manager who does not understand common banking practices.
My mother died leaving the bulk of her estate with Schwab in a stock portfolio. Schwab allowed someone to change her address fraudulently over the phone and sent dividend checks to this address after she died. These checks were cashed and once I found out, I filed an affidavit about the fraud. Schwab did nothing with the affidavit for months and when I called to follow up claimed it was not sent. When they 'found' the paperwork, they then claimed it was too late to complain. I went to the Client Advocacy Team that did not communicate with me and was downright evasive and rude about the issue. They complained that they did not have enough information even thought they have the address of the person that committed the fraud!
I am not satisfied with their service nor the level of security they provide. Even after they knew that fraud had been an issue with this account, they did nothing to enhance their security procedures. I'm left with the cost of the fraud and even after filing an OCC complaint, they continue to ignore a substantial sum that was stolen from the account.