Central Pacific Bank’s aggravation


In the mailbox beneath my apartment room, I found a letter from Central Pacific Bank, a Hawaiian bank I’ve kept my account for almost 15 years, saying that it had changed the policy for customers with Non-Resident Alien (NRA). According to the new policy effective April 1 this year, the bank will deduct $20 of monthly service charge from accounts of NRA customers if they don’t keep at least $10,000 in total in their accounts.

I’ve used this bank’s checking, savings, and time deposit accounts since I opened them in Honolulu, where I went on a trip in 2007. Every time I get a salary, I transfer one hundred dollars or two out of it to the checking account via Revolut and send some money to Firstrade’s investment account to buy stocks and ETFs. I send a check to DreamHost to pay for its hosting web service. I have CPB’s debit card for shopping on Amazon.com and other America’s shopping sites. Also, I register it as the payment method on the Apple ID in the US. 

Such a sudden, abrupt policy change makes me take action as soon as possible. My options are to gather $10,000 in any way to keep these accounts without any service charges or to switch to other US bank accounts I can open from my home in Japan; the latter would be reasonable. 

Probably I have to consider opening the bank accounts of Union Bank again as I did from 2003 to 2008 when it was Union Bank of California. To open Union Bank from your home in Japan, you must be an account holder of Mitsubishi UFJ Bank, a parent company of Union Bank. Once you open MUFJ Bank, you can open Union Bank’s checking and savings accounts as well by sending paperwork issued by MUFJ.

What I have to do from now on would be: (1) to open MUFJ Bank account; (2) to open Union Bank’s checking account and send money to it; (3) to have a debit card issued from Union Bank linked to the checking account and activated; (4) to register it to Apple ID; and (5) to close my Central Pacific Bank accounts. So I still have a long way to go, but I’ve got to do it by the end of March. How time-consuming it is to keep enjoying America’s services!


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