Building a Successful Relationship with a Great Bank: Part II

Materials prepared for Financial Rebellion Interview

Building a Successful Relationship with a Great Bank: Part II

Term for the day: federal sovereign immunity

Federal sovereign immunity in the United States refers to the immunity of the government to suit derived from the English rule that “the king can do no wrong.” Congress can make exceptions to this rule that operate to waive the government’s immunity and has made such exceptions by statute over the years, for example in the Federal Tort Claims Act. Importantly, an action can be brought against the federal government in the Court of Federal Claims for breach of contract. The following is a brief, if limited, description of the Federal Tort Claims Act (source: Sovereign Immunity):

[I]in 1946 Congress passed the Tort Claims Act (28 U.S.C.A. §§ 1346(b), 2671–2678), which authorized U.S. district courts to hold the United States liable for torts committed by its agencies, officers, and employees just as the courts would hold individual defendants liable under similar circumstances. This general waiver of immunity had a number of exceptions, however….

Recently, the government defense of sovereign immunity has been raised in at least one case in which plaintiffs seek damages for alleged public misrepresentations by FDA and CDC officials in connection with COVID-19 injections.

Questions to Ask a Potential Banker: Available Services

  • What are the different types of checking, savings, and other accounts that I might open?
  • Where can I find a copy of all documents I might sign and the terms and conditions that apply to all services I might obtain from you?
  • Do you offer ACH wiring services? What are the charges for this service and any limitations?
  • Can I wire money from my account internationally?
  • Do you offer bill-paying services? What local vendors do you have direct payment facilities with, or do you mail checks to my vendors?
  • Do you provide cashier’s checks, certified checks, money orders, and traveler’s checks? What are the charges for these services?
  • Do you offer certificates of deposit (CDs)? What are the rates and maturities? How do I purchase?
  • Do you offer money market accounts?
  • Do you offer trustee services?
  • Do you offer personal banking with an assigned representative? If so, at what asset level?
  • Do you have correspondent banks, and what do you use them for?
  • What services do you offer that are tailored for small businesses?
  • Do you have so-called “payable on death” accounts whereby I name a beneficiary in the case of my death, thereby allowing the named beneficiary to access my funds upon presentation of identification and a death certificate?
  • What happens if I want another person to be able to manage my account? How is that account designated, and does that person automatically own that account upon my death? Do I need to file a power of attorney?
  • Do you offer safe deposit boxes? If so, at what location and during what hours can a safe deposit box be accessed? What securities measures would be in place?
  • Do you offer IRA accounts? What can be invested in those accounts (e.g., bank CDs? bank-brokered CDs? other money market investment vehicles?)?

Related Resources:

Building a Successful Relationship with a Great Bank, Part I

Building a Successful Relationship with a Great Bank, Part III

Building a Successful Relationship with a Great Bank, Part IV

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