Rough 1st day after acquisition of Flagstar | local

The transition to many customers from Wells Fargo to Michigan-based Flagstar Bancorp did not go smoothly.

Instead, many of Flagstar's new customers – some in Fort Wayne branches – launched Monday to express frustration with issues ranging from not accessing online banking services to accounts showing zero balances.

"I'm very upset and tried to come in to talk to them today about many issues," Jeff Lawson said in an email. "The Dupont and Coldwater branch were standing rooms-just full of other upset customers. I went over the driveway to PNC and signed up for a new bank account there."

Joe Hansbarger, a customer from Angola , did not try to access his online account for several hours. Every time he tried to log in, Hansbarger said that he received an error message that prompted him to call a customer service number.

The number led to a recording that confirmed "technical difficulties" and alerted customers that some deposits during the weekend could not be available until today. The call was then disconnected, and callers could not leave messages.

"As a (video) gamer, I'm used to seeing rollout problems on the day of a big release," Hansbarger said. "However, the difference is that people's lives are in limbo and waiting to gain access to the funds they need to survive, and unlike the (video game company) EA, which drives the risk that customers demand their money back to a game that can not be played , Flagstar already has all our money. "

Wells Fargo announced in June that it would reduce the number of banks, and Flagstar bought 52 locations ̵[ads1]1; including 11 local branches. The agreement contained $ 2.3 billion in deposits and $ 130 million in loans.

Todd McLaughlin, Flagstar's senior vice president and branch bank director, told The Journal Gazette last month that his bank would work to ensure a smooth transition "with as little disturbance as possible for Wells Fargo customers."

The bank acknowledged problems in a statement Monday, but officials said that "the vast majority" of the nearly 200,000 customers who made the transition in Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio, experienced no problems. [19659002] If Flagstar is able to hold onto all account holders, it will more than double its customer base.

Flag language spokeswoman Susan Cherry-Bergeson said late Monday afternoon that she expected the issues to be solved soon, but refused to answer specific questions.

"We take our responsibility to the customers very seriously, and we apologize unnecessarily," she said in the issued statement. "We are working fast and diligent to solve problems with access to internet and call centers."

Rod Lasley, vice president of products and services at the Indiana Bankers Association, said there are some issues common to transitions from major financial institutions such as Wells Fargo to Flagstar.

"Integrating client data from one platform to another does not always go smoothly, as some data fields do not always match correctly," he said in an email. "Customers should alert the bank to any problems, but also show patience when banks work through this conversion."

Lasley said he was not aware of any talks to the organization about Wells Fargo or Flagstar.

Former Wells Fargo account holders affiliated with the affected branches became Flagstar customers on Friday. Flagstar officials said that bank cards would be issued for their new customers, but more posts to social media showed that they had not been received.

Flagstar issued a statement Monday morning announcing that it had closed the agreement to buy the Wells Fargo affiliates.

"We are pleased to welcome customers and employees to 52 Wells Fargo Bank branches that joined the Flagstar family during the weekend," said Alessandro DiNello, President and CEO of Flagstar Bancorp, in the statement. is keen to bring Flagstars brand of custom bank solutions to our new customers – all provided by our new team of talented bankers. They share our tradition with superior customer service and commitment to society. Our thanks to the teams on both sides who worked so hard to bring this transaction to a successful conclusion. "

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