EDITOR NOTE: There’s a reason why companies hedge their assets: most aren’t foolish enough to bet everything on a single outcome. Yet banks are doing just that by closing down branches and ATM services. Such is the case in Eureka, California. Chase bank ATMs are largely non-functional. Should electronic infrastructure go down, or should there be a widespread glitch that affects all digital accounts, then people with no access to physical cash will get hurt. But why would a bank hedge such a disastrous outcome? After all, the personal funds of those nearing the top of the ladder aren’t at risk, just their depositors’ money.
For about a week, Chase Bank customers in Eureka haven’t been able to use the ATM and it’s causing many of them to become frustrated.
Of about a dozen people interviewed at the bank’s Eureka location, every single person had complaints about the way the bank shut down without notice late last week and how the ATMs haven’t been taking deposits or allowing withdrawals of cash. The ATM screen at the bank stated it couldn’t accept cash deposits, accept cash payments or dispense cash.
“I’ve been trying to check every day to see if I can get any cash out because the only other Chase Bank is in Redding,” one female customer at the bank said.
She said the ATM had not been working, by her count, for five days. A male customer said this wasn’t the first time he had issues with making deposits at the ATM.
Without being able to use the ATM soon, about half of customers said it may begin causing problems with their ability to pay bills, though several said they had enough cash on hand at the moment. One customer said she had been complaining daily to Chase about the ATM not working because there was no other Chase ATM within driving distance.
Peter Kelly, Chase’s vice president of media relations, wrote in an email that the Arcata and Eureka branches are only temporarily closed, and that “Chase is open for business in every one of our markets.”
Customers having issues making deposits or payments can do so through the Chase Mobile app or chase.com, he wrote.
One customer said she would prefer to switch her money out of Chase and into a different bank, but she can’t do that right now because the lobby is closed.
“It’s like you’re stuck,” she said. “It’s very frustrating.”
Originally posted on Times Standard