Denied Checking Account by Citibank

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SlowMovingInvestor
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Denied Checking Account by Citibank

Postby SlowMovingInvestor » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:03 pm

I tried to open a Checking Account with Citibank online recently and was rejected. I got a letter from them saying that it had been rejected because of information provided by 'Equifax'. I was naturally surprised (my credit score is over 800), I have several credit cards and a mortgage with Citibank, Citigold status in another country. I rechecked my Equifax report -- it was golden.

I tried to call Citibank up, but the CSR kept on saying that I must have been rejected by Chexsystems (and that it was a mistake that the letter referred to Equifax). I asked him to check the reference in the letter, but he kept on saying that it must be Chexystems. I actually opened another account 2 weeks back with a bank that also uses Chexsystems ( I checked just now), and that went through immediately. I did ask for a Chexsystems report today (first time I had heard of them), but as far as I know my record is absolutely immaculate.

I have read that sometimes a mistake in credit verification questions when opening the account leads Citibank to reject the account (it's possible I made a mistake in one question), and hence a letter saying the failure was because of Equifax verification. But the CSR refused to even do any lookup on that reference number.

The only reason I tried to open the account in the first place was because I wanted to be able to transfer money from my Citigold account in the foreign country quickly and at good rates (also Citi had a bonus on new checking accounts). I am a little annoyed and wondering if it's worth going to a branch (there aren't that many in my state, so involves a long drive) to see if the account can be opened after all. Or maybe the bank personnel will just follow the CSR"s lead and say -- no, it must be Chexsystems !

Rupert
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Re: Denied Checking Account by Citibank

Postby Rupert » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:17 pm

Hmmm, it could relate to the fact that you opened another account just two weeks ago. The bank's computer may have flagged it as suspicious, a possible check kiting scheme in the offing.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Denied Checking Account by Citibank

Postby Jack FFR1846 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:27 pm

Are they like lexxis nexxis? What a clown show. I have a unique last name and am a junior. For my last 2 jobs, they could not verify who I am because some of their questions belong to my dad. Thinking that they are trying to trick me, when the list of addresses include a rental property that my dad owned since I was 3. I answer that none of the addresses are related to me and they bounce me. What a bunch of clowns. They don't check their information for making any sense.
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SlowMovingInvestor
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Re: Denied Checking Account by Citibank

Postby SlowMovingInvestor » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:34 pm

Rupert wrote:Hmmm, it could relate to the fact that you opened another account just two weeks ago. The bank's computer may have flagged it as suspicious, a possible check kiting scheme in the offing.


I don't think so -- I gather Chexsystems only reports adverse events like fraud, check kiting etc. Not account openings. I can wait for my report to come, but I find it a little hard to believe that there could be such a problem within a week. I continue to believe that it might be an issue with the verification, but the CSRs have been told that it must be Chexsystems and blindly parrot that. I wish I had visited a bank branch in person, in that case the bank employee could have verified immediately. The only reason I didn't do that is because Citi shut most of its branches in my state and has only a few branches 45 minutes away ..

N1CKV
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Re: Denied Checking Account by Citibank

Postby N1CKV » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:50 pm

Equifax reports are sometimes used to verify identity, whereas chexsystems is used to verify your check writing "credit worthiness".
You likely gave a piece of information that failed their identification verification protocol and it booted you.
I have met a lot of people that claim to love money, but they also seem to be the same people that are in the biggest hurry to get rid of it.

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tfb
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Re: Denied Checking Account by Citibank

Postby tfb » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:50 pm

SlowMovingInvestor wrote:I have read that sometimes a mistake in credit verification questions when opening the account leads Citibank to reject the account (it's possible I made a mistake in one question), and hence a letter saying the failure was because of Equifax verification.

Equifax runs an id verification system ("which city did you live in 20 years ago?"). If you answered wrong enough you get rejected. In-person does not use such system.
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SlowMovingInvestor
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Re: Denied Checking Account by Citibank

Postby SlowMovingInvestor » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:53 pm

N1CKV wrote:Equifax reports are sometimes used to verify identity, whereas chexsystems is used to verify your check writing "credit worthiness".
You likely gave a piece of information that failed their identification verification protocol and it booted you.


That's what I think -- in fact, I think I did answer a question incorrectly, but it didn't reject me then. But the moronic CSR refused to go beyond -- it must be Chexsystems even though the letter says Equifax. Would opening an account at a branch or trying again online in a few days yield a different result ?

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dm200
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Re: Denied Checking Account by Citibank

Postby dm200 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:05 pm

SlowMovingInvestor wrote:
N1CKV wrote:Equifax reports are sometimes used to verify identity, whereas chexsystems is used to verify your check writing "credit worthiness".
You likely gave a piece of information that failed their identification verification protocol and it booted you.

That's what I think -- in fact, I think I did answer a question incorrectly, but it didn't reject me then. But the moronic CSR refused to go beyond -- it must be Chexsystems even though the letter says Equifax. Would opening an account at a branch or trying again online in a few days yield a different result ?


Maybe. In person, you may be better able to convince them of your "identity".

earlyout
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Re: Denied Checking Account by Citibank

Postby earlyout » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:36 pm

Do you have a credit freeze on your Equifax info? If so, I suggest a temporary lift of that freeze and reapply.

SlowMovingInvestor
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Re: Denied Checking Account by Citibank

Postby SlowMovingInvestor » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:44 pm

earlyout wrote:Do you have a credit freeze on your Equifax info? If so, I suggest a temporary lift of that freeze and reapply.


Now that you mention it -- I do have a credit fraud alert on my account- -- but I opened an AMEX credit card even with that. it just required Amex to call me back when a credit request is made. It could be that, but the CSR was insistent that it was not Equifax, but Chexsystems. What really annoyed me was his refusal to even lookup the reference number to see what the specific reasons was.

stoptothink
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Re: Denied Checking Account by Citibank

Postby stoptothink » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:50 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:Are they like lexxis nexxis? What a clown show. I have a unique last name and am a junior. For my last 2 jobs, they could not verify who I am because some of their questions belong to my dad. Thinking that they are trying to trick me, when the list of addresses include a rental property that my dad owned since I was 3. I answer that none of the addresses are related to me and they bounce me. What a bunch of clowns. They don't check their information for making any sense.


We had similar issues with Lexxis Nexxis. When trying to change car insurance providers, GEICO has the lowest rates but has rejected us twice in the last year because according to Lexxis Nexxis my wife's driver's license is suspended. Well, that is news to her and the local DMV. The DMV even sent a letter to Lexxis Nexxis stating my wife had a current DL and no points on her record. No change. So, we just went through Progressive instead for like $4/month more; they don't seem to think my wife's DL is suspended.

jf89
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Re: Denied Checking Account by Citibank

Postby jf89 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:04 pm

I once answered a question wrong on a credit check/verification for Ally Bank ("Which of the following streets have you lived on?" when they give you only the first and last letters of street names. I chose "none of the above" but apparently the correct answer was "Ad.... St" because I once lived on West Adams St, and one bank told me the West didn't matter. I got the mail no problem, so I didn't think it was an issue until this.).

I was then locked out of their system until my next credit report came back clean (so essentially a month), but when I called, the customer service was able to tell me that the reason was because I answered a question wrong.
"Save as much as you can, diversify diversify diversify, and you can't go wrong with tech stocks" | -First investing advice I recall from my parents in the 90's (two outta three ain't bad)

wassabi
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Re: Denied Checking Account by Citibank

Postby wassabi » Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:00 pm

SlowMovingInvestor wrote:
earlyout wrote:Do you have a credit freeze on your Equifax info? If so, I suggest a temporary lift of that freeze and reapply.


Now that you mention it -- I do have a credit fraud alert on my account- -- but I opened an AMEX credit card even with that. it just required Amex to call me back when a credit request is made. It could be that, but the CSR was insistent that it was not Equifax, but Chexsystems. What really annoyed me was his refusal to even lookup the reference number to see what the specific reasons was.



A fraud alert is different from a freeze. A freeze would prevent Citi from opening the account altogether unless you lifted the freeze, whereas an alert would simply trigger a warning that would cause the creditor to call you to verify.

I would call back and speak to another representative. Sounds like you had poor assistance.

cherijoh
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Re: Denied Checking Account by Citibank

Postby cherijoh » Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:14 pm

SlowMovingInvestor wrote:
earlyout wrote:Do you have a credit freeze on your Equifax info? If so, I suggest a temporary lift of that freeze and reapply.


Now that you mention it -- I do have a credit fraud alert on my account- -- but I opened an AMEX credit card even with that. it just required Amex to call me back when a credit request is made. It could be that, but the CSR was insistent that it was not Equifax, but Chexsystems. What really annoyed me was his refusal to even lookup the reference number to see what the specific reasons was.


If you are flagged as potentially fraudulent the CSR is probably specifically told NOT to tell you the specific reason why you were rejected. That would allow a fraudster to refine his answers to do "better" the next time.

If you visit in person they will check your photo ID so that should help if it is an identity verification issue and not one related to fraudulent activity.

need403bhelp
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Re: Denied Checking Account by Citibank

Postby need403bhelp » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:33 pm

SlowMovingInvestor wrote:
Rupert wrote:Hmmm, it could relate to the fact that you opened another account just two weeks ago. The bank's computer may have flagged it as suspicious, a possible check kiting scheme in the offing.


I don't think so -- I gather Chexsystems only reports adverse events like fraud, check kiting etc. Not account openings. I can wait for my report to come, but I find it a little hard to believe that there could be such a problem within a week. I continue to believe that it might be an issue with the verification, but the CSRs have been told that it must be Chexsystems and blindly parrot that. I wish I had visited a bank branch in person, in that case the bank employee could have verified immediately. The only reason I didn't do that is because Citi shut most of its branches in my state and has only a few branches 45 minutes away ..


FYI, this is not quite true - chexsystems does list account openings (source: my own chexsystems report, which I requested last year). EDIT: titled "inquiries initiated by consumer action" on my report

Not all banks query chexsystems - some use ews (early warning systems).

With that said, I believe, per the doctorofcredit.com site (which I read), that it is unusual to get denied for number of account openings, unless you have >10-12 in a calendar year. I don't know about date of last account opening.
Last edited by need403bhelp on Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Pajamas
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Re: Denied Checking Account by Citibank

Postby Pajamas » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:51 pm

About ten years ago, I was rejected when applying for a checking account with a big internet-only bank. When they do that they have to tell you why. When I got the letter, it turned out to be some credit reporting company that I had never heard of (and can't remember the name of now) had told them that they had no record of me at all. The big three have long credit reports on me and I opened my first bank account almost fifty years ago. So there is definitely a problem with this happening.

Those online question and answer verification systems use publicly available information, the kind of information you would find on those "reports" different sites sell. It can be a real problem answering those questions. For instance, they expect me to choose from a list an unimportant street that is within a certain radius (five or ten miles) from my apartment that is in the same dense metropolitan area but a different state? What's worse, some of the questions they give you are red herrings and don't have a correct answer, which can be very infuriating.


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