There is movement online urging Americans to take their money out of big bad banks and put it into nice small(er) local banks. However you might feel about this particular movement, it is an understandable one in the aftermath of the near financial collapse of the country.
It would certainly behoove collectors to find institutions that are collector friendly and to do their business with such banks. The question is how do you go about finding them?
Some banks do go out of their way to keep up with the latest Lincoln cents or dollar coin issues. Some banks do not mind when collectors make inquiries about new coins. I receive e-mails and letters about this from time to time.
Unfortunately, not all banks are helpful. In fact, most banks are probably downright hostile to the idea of collectors getting new issues from them. My volume of e-mails on this topic seems to bear this out. Just look at the Buzz page for the latest poll results about whether banks are making enough of an effort to obtain the new 2010 cents with the Union shield.
I understand that getting coins is a banking activity that incurs a cost that must be covered by the banks in the normal course of business and most collectors probably don’t generate the fees from this type of service that a coin-using business would.
While this may be strictly true, and I certainly believe it is, I also believe that that isn’t necessarily the right way to do the accounting.
If all banking amounted to was providing coins to people, then banks certainly would need to recover their costs on every coin supplying transaction. However, as you know from your own experience of banking, processing coins is just a tiny piece of the larger picture.
Supplying new coins could be considered a service to depositors who have checking accounts, certificates of deposit, perhaps consumer loans, or gasp, even a mortgage. Coins are just a tiny part of a relationship.
Attempting to persuade bankers to see this is probably not worth the effort. Finding bankers out there who already believe this seems to me to be a more worthwhile task. They are out there.
But that means collectors themselves need to put bank coin services on their radar. Many collectors who asked for new cents from banks in 2009 had probably never asked their bank for coins before.
Dealers who handle rolls and bags of coins have long-standing relationships cultivated over many years. The average collector, if he ever had such a banking relationship, probably let it slip long ago.
I certainly did. I had such a relationship with a small Iowa bank when I had my paper route in the 1960s and was actively searching change to fill Whitman albums.
It probably was no accident that the institution was small and it was in a small town. When I moved to a larger city in Wisconsin, the financial institutions were much less friendly. I didn’t push the coin matter. Maybe now is time for collectors to push the coin matter and cultivate banking relationships that will satisfy them for years to come.
In short, the matter is up to you.