Our family owned business has secured several commercial mortgages with West Coast Bank over more than ten (10) years and, we have several associated business customers who perviously or currently have various accounts with West Coast Bank.
Prior to the recession, the consensus is that West Coast Bank was fairly easy to deal with but, since the recession began, we find West Coast Bank more difficult to deal with probably due to stress from commercial lending and being found to be under capitaized by order of the FED and FDIC into 2010. West Coast Bank did a private stock offering and re-capitalized itself in 2010 allowing it to be removed from the FED and FDIC's "Cease and Desist" order.
The main complaints have been;
1. Constant, persistent and increasing demands for personal and business financial and tax reports and records. Much more than "pre recession" times.
2. Threats of increased intrest rate hikes, fees and actions if #1 above is not satisfied.
3. West Coast Bank seems to be advertising in print everywhere in Oregon and Washington that they are sponsoring all kids of civic events (good will) but do their customers ever get invitations? Hardly. Not even a Christmas card.
4. You'd think that with big dollar accounts you'd receive a pre-addressed return payment envelope for your payments. I guess this is alignment with any bank running "skinny".
5. Customer service/mortgage servicing seems able to answer direct questions but, not very willing to discuss financing options and rates to better deal with the struggles we all face in these difficult times.
We're looking for (and have found) other financing options and rates in advance of our loans pending adjustment dates and/or maturitys. They ARE out there if you look.
West Coast Bank provided a modest operating line of $500k for my company for more than 7 years. We were never late on payments, we seldom used the line and our AR and WIP were always at least 5 times more than what we owed to the West Coast Bank. When the recession began in 2008 most banks tightened lending to small businesses and it became clear that the lending officers at WCB knew that we would not be able to find another bank to provide an adequate business line. At the end of 2010 WCB raised our fees by more than 1000 percent and also raised the interest that they charged us for using the operating line. The fees for renewing our line for only 9 months was $23K and this was during a time when the Federal Reserve was providing WCB nearly free money. The equivalent interest rate required by WCB was in excess of 30 percent! WCB simply attempted to extort money from my company because they were convinced that we had no alternative. Fortunately WCB was not our only alternative and several banks were willing to provide us a business line at very reasonable fees and interest rates. The bank we selected was Pioneer Trust Bank which provided a business line of $650K with no fees and at 6 percent interest. The people at WCB are nothing short of loan sharks and will take advantage of small businesses if they think they can get away with it. Also note that WCB has been on financially shaky ground for the last couple years and was recently under investigation by the FDIC. Stay clear of this bank!
This bank is so crooked... It should be illegal. They call it totally free checking... Right! They give you the option to opt in or out of overdraft protection but it makes no difference if you are opted in or not they will opt you in without your knowledge for the purpose of charging you 70% give or take of your deposit and then opt you back out without your knowledge right afterward.
Happened to me almost every time and even heard it from their mouths. Then they closed my account and reported me to chex when i didn't even get checks with my account. I can't even rate my experience below because the number doesn't go low enough. They are complete rip off artists. Do not bank with them.