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Online Banking

Banks that rely on the Internet and other low-cost ways to provide service, as opposed to "bricks and mortar" branch offices, can save on expenses and pass the savings along to customers in higher returns on deposits and lower interest rates on loans. Online banking also gives customers the convenience of being able to monitor their accounts and complete transactions around the clock, without waiting for mailed statements or being limited by office hours.

The flip side of online banking is that, if a problem arises, you cannot sit down face-to-face with someone from the bank to resolve it. There is also a premium on doing research to check out the legitimacy of an unfamiliar and remote institution before you entrust it with your money and private information. A good place to start is the "About Us" section of a bank's website, which should at least give basic contact information. If it does not, that in itself should raise suspicions. Other warning signs include names or websites that are only slightly different from those of well-known institutions and rates of return that are far out of line with what other banks are offering. It is a good idea to confirm that an institution is federally insured by contacting the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or searching its "Institution Directory" at www3.fdic.gov/idasp.

Like any bank customer, users of online banking institutions are well-advised to safeguard private identification information, keep good records, and monitor transactions and balances regularly. Online banking customers also have the protection of federal laws such as the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Truth in Lending Act, and the Truth in Savings Act. Those who decide to do their banking solely in front of a computer screen especially should know about the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, which deals with consumer rights involving electronic banking transactions.

This website is not intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of legal services. By posting and/or maintaining the website and its contents, Lucas Law does not intend to solicit business from clients located in states or jurisdictions outside of Illinois wherein Lucas Law or its individual attorney(s) are not licensed or authorized to practice law.

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