- What is the difference between a bank and a credit union in Michigan?
Both banks and credit unions are depository institutions and offer consumers many of the same services.
A bank is a "for profit" corporation owned by its shareholders and is established to provide financial services to the general public. Bank deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Michigan state-chartered banks operate under the authority of the Banking Code of 1999 and are regulated by the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS). There are also national banks and federal savings associations that operate under the authority of the National Bank Act or the Home Owners’ Loan Act and are regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).
A credit union is a "not for profit" corporation owned by its member depositors and is established solely for the benefit of its members. A Michigan state-chartered credit union operates under the authority of and receives its powers from the Michigan Credit Union Act. There are also federally-chartered credit unions that operate under the authority of the Federal Credit Union Act and are regulated by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).
- Is there any difference between a state-chartered and a nationally-chartered bank?
A bank can be chartered by a state bank regulatory agency or a federal government agency. This determines what regulations the bank will operate under and who its primary regulator will be.
Our bank locator is a directory of Michigan state-chartered banks. You can search for Michigan state-chartered banks at http://difs.state.mi.us/locators?searchtype=ChtBank.
Our bank service of process (resident agent locator) is a directory of all banks operating in Michigan. Feel free to search for your bank and learn its home state (main office location) and primary regulator at https://difs.state.mi.us/locators/Menu/ResMenu?searchtype=ResAgent.
- What is the maximum interest rate I can be charged by the bank issuing my credit card?
Generally, the rate that may be charged is the rate permitted in the financial institution's home state. This is determined by the state's statutory code(s). A Michigan state-chartered depository institution may charge whatever interest rate the institution and the customer agree to.
- What is the maximum amount in my bank account that is insured?
Up to $250,000 per depositor is federally insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). For more information about bank deposit insurance, visit https://www.fdic.gov/deposit/ or contact the FDIC at 877-275-3342.
- Can my bank transfer funds from my account without my consent?
A bank can offset funds from an account in good standing to cover a delinquent account (loan payment, credit card payment, etc.). This is referred to as the “Right of Offset” and is generally disclosed in the Account Agreement with your financial institution. By opening the account, you agree to all the terms in the Account Agreement.
- Is the bank required to disclose a fee prior to charging it?
By law the bank is required to disclose all fees prior to charging them. Fees are disclosed at the time the account is opened. Typically, a fee schedule is included in the Account Agreement. Any changes to fees after the initial disclosure must be disclosed in one of the following ways: mailing the notice, posting the notice in the lobby of the bank, or adding the information to the monthly account statement.
- I have a complaint about my bank. Who should I contact?
First, identify your bank’s primary regulator by searching our bank service of process resident agent locator at https://difs.state.mi.us/locators/Menu/ResMenu?searchtype=ResAgent.
To file a complaint against a Michigan state-chartered bank, please complete the online complaint form at www.michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints. If you have any questions, please contact us toll-free at 877-999-6442. All complaints must be submitted in writing to the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS).
Complaints regarding national banks or federal savings associations should be directed to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB’s phone number is 855-411-2372 and their website is www.consumerfinance.gov.
If your bank’s primary regulator is another state, complaints regarding the bank should be discussed with that state’s bank regulatory agency. A directory of state bank regulatory agencies can be found at https://www.csbs.org/state-bank-agency-contact-quick-access.
If you have questions regarding who the primary regulator of a bank is, please contact us toll-free at 877-999-6442 and we would be happy to assist you.
The answers provided are not meant to be a substitute for legal advice.