Compass Bank Steals

By | March 22, 2010

Anyone do business or Bank with Compass Bank?  They’ll Rip You Off!

As some of you are aware, I own several online businesses and literally have hundreds of transactions through my accounts every month.  One of my smaller businesses that has been up a few months opened an account with Compass Bank.  Compass Bank has, for the lack of a better term, a “unique” system for doing deposits and withdrawals.  This system landed them in a lawsuit by a company named “Fat Butter” (your guess is as good as mine) and involved a claim that BBVA Compass rearranges the order of deposits and withdrawals in order to maximize the number of times they’re able to hit an account with NSF Fees.  Furthermore, it is claimed that BBVA Compass also holds charges briefly (a day or two) and then allows them to go through if your account happens to go below $0 so that you can rack up even more $38 NSF Fees – something I haven’t knowingly experienced myself.

Since most of my payments are credit cards over the internet I get daily deposits from my merchant company in varying amounts depending on how much product I sold 2-3 days before.  I have no idea why, but it usually takes 2-3 days for the money to hit my account after I have charged a credit card.  This isn’t a big deal as long as it is consistent (and it is).  So, every morning, first thing, I have deposits in my account from my merchant account.  One would think that because my deposits from my merchant company are electronically transferred first thing in the morning I would have money in the account daily.   It is of note that I check my balance every morning and the deposits show up on my account every morning –  the money is there correct??  Compass Bank doesn’t see it that way.

Here’s an example of what one might assume happens in a normal checking account on a given day:

Morning Balance : $1000

6 a.m. – Deposit – Merchant Account Deposits $1000.
1 p.m. – Withdrawal -Various Fed-Ex Charges (lets say 10 x $8) $80.
2 p.m. – Withdrawal – Vendor Check $300.
3 p.m. – Deposit – Cash Deposit $500.
3 p.m. – Withdrawal – Supplier Check $900.

Ending Balance:  $1220

On March 1st, a Monday, I have $1000 in my bank account.  I have a $900 check I wrote to a supplier.  I have various fed-ex charges that are billed once every 2-3 days (10 charges of $8.00 for ease of numbers) . I also have a $300 check I wrote to a contractor.  I have $1000 in merchant credits to be deposited and I also go to the bank and deposit $500 in cash that I received from a customer over the weekend.

$1000 + $1000 – $80 – $300 + $500 – $900 = $1220.   Correct?   Not by Compass Bank’s math.  No, Compass Bank has another way of doing the math and maximizing their profits on the NSF fees.  As stated, Compass Bank very cleverly chronologically reorganizes deposits and charges so that if  it is possible for your account to be below $0 it will reflect a negative balance.   This little trick ensures that you will be charged the highest number of NSF fees possible (at a whopping $38 EACH).   What they have done is examine all withdrawals for the day and then rearrange them so they are all put through before your deposits are put through.   Even CASH deposits are posted AFTER all withdrawals.  Compass cleverly withdrawals amounts from highest to lowest before allowing any deposits to be posted to the account.

Here is how Compass Bank does its Math:

Morning Balance : $1000

3 p.m. – Withdrawal – Supplier Check $900.
2 p.m. – Withdrawal – Vender Check $300.
2 p.m. – NSF FEE $38.
4 p.m. – Withdrawal – Fed-Ex Charge $8.
4 p.m. – NSF FEE $38.
4 p.m. – Withdrawal – Fed-Ex Charge $8.
4 p.m. – NSF FEE $38.
4 p.m. – Withdrawal – Fed-Ex Charge $8.
4 p.m. – NSF FEE $38.
4 p.m. – Withdrawal – Fed-Ex Charge $8.
4 p.m. – NSF FEE $38.
4 p.m. – Withdrawal – Fed-Ex Charge $8.
4 p.m. – NSF FEE $38.
4 p.m. – Withdrawal – Fed-Ex Charge $8.
4 p.m. – NSF FEE $38.
4 p.m. – Withdrawal – Fed-Ex Charge $8.
4 p.m. – NSF FEE $38.
4 p.m. – Withdrawal – Fed-Ex Charge $8.
4 p.m. – NSF FEE $38.
4 p.m. – Withdrawal – Fed-Ex Charge $8.
4 p.m. – NSF FEE $38.
4 p.m. – Withdrawal – Fed-Ex Charge $8.
4 p.m. – NSF FEE $38.
6 a.m. – Deposit – Merchant Account Deposits $1000.
3 p.m. – Deposit – Cash Deposit $500.

Ending Balance:  $840

Yes.  $840 is a stark difference from $1220 isn’t it?   Guess what?  I was just robbed!

Let’s talk a little about Compass Bank’s customer service and how they justify their theft.  First, Customer service (if that’s what you want to call it) at Compass Bank states that they do not have the technological capability to arrange deposits and withdrawals in chronological order.  That’s odd, as they’ve been able to figure out how to hold all of my deposits and take the withdrawals first.  Seems to me that they’re able to arrange at least something.  In fact, if they wanted to be honest about it don’t you think they would give me at LEAST my early morning deposit that happens EVERY day and my CASH deposit that I put in their bank before they take out checks and misc expenses?  It’s also troublesome that they’re able to arrange the withdrawals from highest amount to lowest amount to come out first so that if at any point the larger amounts put me below $0 the smaller amounts hit me with a $38 NSF Fee EVERY TIME!  If they’re able to arrange the numbers in that fashion why aren’t they able to arrange them in the opposite order?  After all, isn’t it logical that if I have money electronically deposited first thing in the morning that the money should be available before electronic debits are taken out?

You might argue that I should simply make sure I have more money in the account than what is being withdrawn.  Well, that’s true.  My rebuttal is that I do have money to cover the expenses – my bank just hasn’t given me credit for it yet!

It’s pretty simple.  Compass Bank says it doesn’t have the technology to arrange fees in chronological order, but they do have the technology to arrange fees from highest to lowest and arrange withdrawals before deposits.   They also make sure that the money coming out electronically is taken out immediately and the money coming in electronically is held until all withdrawals are taken out – effectively leaving you with the lowest balance possible in order to collect NSF fees and penalties.

The ultimate solution is to either put $5000 in the account and never let your balance go below that or switch to another bank that actually does your banking in chronological order.  Wells Fargo has excellent online banking that is far superior to anything Compass ever thought about having.  The only time I got NSF charges from WF is when I deserved them. Furthermore, their customer service is top-notch in my experience.

NSF Fees typically  happen to all of us at one point.  If I deserve it I pay the price, but If I’m robbed I have to complain!

31 thoughts on “Compass Bank Steals

  1. Concerned but logical citizen

    It’s called EDP – or Effective Date Posting. What that means is that Compass clears transactions in your account by the chronological date the transaction was made. If you swipe your check card on the first of the month – let’s say a Monday – the charge usually doesn’t clear until Tue or Wednesday b/c of the process time it takes their merchant services processor. BBVA Compass looks at your Monday balance (b/c that is the day you spent the money and agreed to the purchase) and then decides to charge you an OD fee or not. If you didn’t have the available funds on Monday but you did by Tuesday or Wed then you are still charged a fee b/c you did not have the money when you legally agreed to the purchase

  2. Concerned but logical citizen

    It is not a scam and they do not rearrange the order of posting your transactions – that is obviously illegal – but it does cause customers who do not manage their money properly, or customers who like to “float” funds (i.e. make purchases when they do not have the available funds, expecting to make a deposit to cover the purchase/transaction before it clears) to OD more frequently.
    The solution is not to lambast the bank and tell people that they are stealing from you, but to understand how they post transactions and manage your money accordingly. Or switch banks if you don’t like it.

  3. ViktorVictor

    He’s right. I work for a bank and that’s how compass they do it. The guy that wrote this post is an idiot.

  4. CompassSucks

    ViktorVictor, you are the idiot. Did you even read the post? The way Compass processes transactions to maximize fees is just plain wrong.

  5. IhateCompass

    I have only been with Compass for less than a year, and they have made money off of me with scam after scam. How about not posting a deposit to your account immediately (even cash!!) unless you instruct them to. ???

    I agree if I am below the amount of money required to pay for items that a REASONABLE NSF fee is in order, but $38? Wow. Also, I got the notice that you could opt out of being charged that $38 if you had a transaction that was over the amount, because then it was just going to be declined…but did you know their brand new way of getting their $38 is to charge that amount if you even TRY to use it and you don’t have enough???

    I had a subscription to a childrens internet gaming site that I cancelled, yet they still tried to debt me for the $5.95 fee. Thinking I was ahead of the game, and already not liking Compass anyway, I have left a $0 balance and no way for this company to keep getting their money. Well, they tried 7 times — with $0 in the bank — and without Compass even paying the debted amount, charged me $38 each time. Hello???/???

    I am not paying it. They can come after me all they want. I truly, honestly don’t give a crap. They are thieves and will connive and manipulate to make money off of their customers. Ick and ew.

  6. jc

    This Viktor is truly a complete idiot. You sound like one of the idiots that think banks are gods and you follow them as though you will be their next CEO. Banks float money bigtime so don’t spout your ignorance. Banks like Compass are taking advantage of human nature and how people have banked for years. Any other business treated their customers like this and they would be out of business.

    Compass sits in a room and figures different ways customers bank and then develops ways to make certain they maximize NSF fees. All the banks may do this but it doesn’t make it ethical. Customer service is when the bank helps the customer not uses human nature to scam them and yes it is a scam such as putting highest amount first to maximize NSF charges.

    The main way to get back is to get a group focused so they can create a class action and for everyone to use the small claims system. Our website will be up in a week and we are simply bringing all the blogs and forums together so to create a real class action instead of just blogging about it.

  7. Tx65

    First, NSF fees are penalties intended to hurt and motivate you to manage your account responsibly.

    Second, if you operate an account with low balances, it is up to you to tightly manage your transactions.

    Third, effective date posting is common and legal. If you write a check on Monday, you are legally required to have the funds in your account the moment you write the check. It is also clearly defined in your account agreement. Playing the float is illegal.

  8. Tx65

    To “I Hate Compass”

    First, you should have blocked the electronic debits either by canceling your debit card number or asking the bank to block any ACH’s.

    Second, you should have closed your account, not just left it with a zero balance.

    Finally, you need to talk to bank and not act like a spoiled child. Your account will sit there with a negative balance and will be reported. It can impact your ability to open a new bank account at other banks and even prevent you from getting a job.

  9. admin

    Did you even read my post? It’s obvious why Compass Bank was sued. This isn’t an issue of mismanaging money. You obviously work for the bank. I’m glad this site ranks #1 for “compass bank steals”. I’m proud of it. I’ll continue to keep the posts coming and log the complaints.

  10. Dave

    compass bank sucks after 6 years with them and 3700.00 worth priv pays with their way of suckin every thing they can from you I switched to the credit union they send a text to my cell if I need to transfer money Compass Bank is Really bad stay away from them

  11. Char

    Compass Bank SUCKS!

    I made a purchase of $30.00 on sunday to my account and had an avail balance of $80.00. My direct deposit payroll was submitted 1st thing on Monday morning for $1100.00 (but I guess was not posted 1st thing monday morning) so I paid my car insurance monday morning ($52.00). When I looked at my account online, I see that the bank has charged my account for 2 $38.00 NSF charges. I called the bank to see why for (1)-I have these charges to my account if my direct deposit had been processed on monday, and I had an avial balance, and (2)-why there were 2 NSF charges. Customer Service (or as I would call them scammers) said that the direct deposit was not processed until after I made the payment to my car insurance. I said ok then why do I have 2 NSF charges for $38.00. They told me that once my $52.00 charge was processed (not yet posted just pending) I had a balance on my account that was less than the avilable balance-so there is a $38.00 NSF charge due to the pending balance being less than the avail balance. Then once the charge was actually (posted) to my account I got another $38.00 charge (the same day) because the $52.00 charge exceeded the avail balance so now I have a negative balance. Just after all of this crap my direct deposit was show as posted and avail to me. How can you charge me an NSF twice for 1 purchase. This is theft!!!!!!! I dont care how you want to justify it YOU ARE STEALING FROM MY ACCOUNT AND SHOULD BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT!!!!!!!! I hope that many people read these blogs BEFORE they attempt to open an account with Compass. At least maybe some of them will be smart enough not to get caught up in the crap that Compass dishes out!

  12. georgia martinetti

    I have been with Compass for several years, with Tx State Bank then they switched to Compass. I think I will change. I have been charged plenty of times with NSF charges, over and over for days at a time. It always came on some little charge that automatically comes out of my checking account that I forgot about or didnt know about. Lots of scams out there. I called the bank and they assured me that if I have the money deposited or transferred by 8pm I will not be charged NSF fees, but if I have it in later, I will be charged until I get the balance in. That sounded logical to me, but now I am thinking about it again. HMMMMMMMMMMMM Thanks for the informationQ!

  13. georgia martinetti

    Let me know when you are ready for the class action suit.


    I am a mathematician & compass bank is doing everything they can to simply maximize their profits. We are all just statistics to them. Banks are predators!!! Compass is the T-Rex of the predatorial banking system. I have also been SCAMed by them for several small purchases after a big deposit. The large deposit goes in …you think you now have the money in the bank…make some small purchases with a debit card later in the day or even the next day and….they hit you with all the small charges as $38 fees!! I can’t believe some of the comments on here replying and saying (basically) that is just the way it is because it is legal. there is no law against many things that are just immoral, and there are laws against other things that are just (like stem cell research). No one gets anything done if they do not speak up against legal FRAUD. We have the right to speak our mind, and BBVA Compass should be brought to their knees. The only way to fight back is to “SPEAK UP” and tell everyone how these as****** operate. Unfortunately…many most other banks do this sort of thing too, its called maximizing profits…simple as that!!! We are all just statistics and casualties of predators who maximize profits. The only way to beat the system is to have a cushion ($2000 for instance)) and consider that money unavailable to you…then do not ever charge more than that amount in a particular day.
    I have in on a class action lawsuit. Let me know where to go!!! I do not believe it will happen though as this is “lrgal fraud”.

  15. Max Kot

    They are bunch of crooks.
    BBVA tricked my 80+y. old mom into bying a new property insurance for already insured by BBVA-Seguros vivienda in Torrevieja.
    She’s been paying two insurances for the same (difrent policy numbers) for years.
    After this year, two subseqent robberies were reported, they never show up. Both insurance papers say, they should respond within 72 hours.

  16. Financially Mature

    All you guys crying about NSF fees are idiots. Really, you are.
    Instead of wasting all this energy on something completely useless as to trying to defame a business, you should try to bank THE LEGAL WAY.

    LAW: the FEDERAL RESERVE mandates that once a check is written and signed, you guarantee that the funds are already there to be withdrawn -that is, on the day the check is given (and not the day you write on the check) regardless of when the check is cleared.

    LAW: the FEDERAL RESERVE allows banks to delay the availability of checks being deposited if/when the checks are not local -especially for fkn idiots who keep overdrafting.

    LAW: VISA mandates cardholders that by the time you swipe a card for purchase, you guarantee that the funds are available to be withdrawn – regardless if the authorization amount is different from actual amount and regardless of when it actually clears the account.

    LAW: VISA requests debits from banks faster than posting credits to banks


    effective date posting honors the laws and regulations established by the US GOVERNMENT and VISA.

    one reason why some banks were failing was because they were assuming too much debt by babying their customers too much and allowing them to BREAK LAWS AGAINST FLOAT and CHECK KITING.


  17. Penny Serrato

    I saw them with my own eyes rearrange posted transactions to my account. I checked my account at 5:00 am and all was well my deposit had been posted and everything looked great, an hour later I looked and my deposit was missing an hour later I had $114.00 worth of NSF charges and transactions that had not been posted before posted than my deposit, if that’s not rearranging I don’t know what is. Now they are charging NSF for transactions that have not posted to my account saying the merchant place a hold on my account for 2 transactions that they don’t even have in posted status. I filed a complaint with the BBB. All I want is my NSF charge back but I think someone needs to file suit for deceptive practices. I mean I had no knowledge that my account was put on hold even the online account doesn’t indicate that.

  18. x1134x

    My bad experience with compass:

    I sign up for “free business checking” Because some of my clients won’t write ME a check, they want a “business name”, So I file for my DBA etc, and get business checking attached to my personal checking for my self-owned business. I rarely get these checks, and when I do deposit them, i move the money to my personal account (to spend). So after a few months I try to deposit another check and am told “your account was closed, due to zero balance”. HUH? So when I asked if there was any maintenance or fees on the account, the answer given of “no” wasn’t correct? I insisted they re-open the FREE account, and give me back the FREE deal. I leave 5 bucks in the account to prevent them from closing it due to “zero balance”. They then charge a FEE to the account, then close it again for “zero balance”, even though I was assured I’d be getting the FREE business checking. I get it allegedly cleared up, then I get a note in the mail, that all accounts that were free are subject to a 10.95 fee if you have less than a billion dollars in the account, or unless you deposit over 1500 A DAY. Ok, I move all money out of the account thinking they’ll close it for “zero balance”, Do they? No, they charge my SAVINGS account the 10.95 fee rather than just close the damn account, and leave it open with zero balance endlessly. . .


  19. tiffani B

    I am closing my account with compass tomorrow. They have robbed me blind!! They do arrange the transactions as they see fit to make more money for themselves. They just got sued for this and they are still doing it. And WTF they charge a 1.25 fee for cash deposits? Im moving all of my stuff to bofa since i have never had an overdraft fee with them in the 14 years that I have been with them. True enough, all banks are shady, but Compass by far is the worst!! I will be meeting with my lawyer to see if I can sue them for this illegal activity!

  20. Mel

    El Peor banco en el mundo, profesionales para robar son unos rateros desde los dueños hasta sus empleados, no lo usen por favor, mi pequeño negocio ha sido cargado por miles de dólares en el pasado año. Mi cuenta estando los depósitos hechos en efectivo no los acreditan hasta que regresan todos los cargos con todo y los NSF . No les den mas dinero a estos rateros muertos de hambre , no es posible que hagan dinero de esta manera, si alguien ya metió una demanda contactenme por favor yo los apoyo.

  21. Capt Jim

    If your searching this site for BBVA chances are you are getting ripped off by your bank and are looking for a new one. Just search BBVA Compass Complaints. After reading them you can go to and sign a petition to request that the United States Department of Justice investigate how BBVA, a theiving, money laundering bank from Spain, got a license to do business in the United States in the first place and who they paid off to get it. For more on the history of BBVA’s criminal activity go to


    Capt Jim

  22. Khaja Mujibuddin

    I got into too many NSF’s charges because they rearranged my transactions. On my IPhone I see some transactions and a positive balance. After sometime theses transactions switches and NSF’s pops up and I still have positive balance. The bank is not helping me or explain the rearranging process. Just today I started off the day with 3 NSF and my yesterday’s ending balance was positive. Submitted enquiry into my account and asked them for an explanation on how someone starts off with NSF a a positive yesterday’s balance. I am sure that I will get some unacceptable answer from them again. I have taken 100’s of snapshots on my IPhone to prove this scenario. Can’t take it anymore. I may contact an attorney and file a case against this bank.

  23. Compass is pathetic

    I could write a novel on BBVA Compass and it’s deceptive practices, everything “Compass Bank Steals” siad is 100% true my mother just for the umpteenth time went throught that exact process. They always take out your debits/checks before posting your deposits even cash deposits. They also charge you twice to use your own money as overdraft protection. They are unethical at least. Refinancing is a joke I’d tell you about our experiance but I would be here all night and we are in the process of trying to get these thiefs to close so keep posted I will be back!

  24. dawn barker


  25. marilyn lewis

    Compass is still at it … how they get away with it, I don’t know. I am on my way to bank ONE MORE TIME to see if I can resolve $760 in OD charges due to “rearranged” transactions. I have signed the petition at change. org, and joined the Facebook page (I hate Compass).
    NOW HERE IS THE IMPORTANT PART FOR ALL COMPASS CUSTOMERS: This bank has bigger problems than angry U.S. consumers. Think of the economic catastrophe in SPAIN right now and what are the chances this bank will survive and what will happen to your money if they don’t?

  26. richard montalvo

    I’ve been dealing with compuss over two years now since i paid off a loan and i still get the shaft. They haven’t corrected my credit report so every time I apply for a loan with other lending banks i have to go get a letter from compuss statting the loan has been paid i close all my banking account with them my new bank said this problem affectmy credit rating

  27. Anonymous

    I have experienced the same issue with Compass Bank ripping people off of their money.

    One time I had like $100 in my account as I only deposit what I need and for example Two charges automatic payments were billed early it was my fault I forgot them and didn’t check my balance, however I placed an order for $50 and these transactions were rearranged on my account and I get hit with two NSF fees.

    The most recent thing happend something similar my account over drew just by less than $100 because the company I deal with charged my debit card. Well I had my Opt out for billing OFF so they were not supposed to process it, but I log into my account after getting the NSF email and I find it turned on.

    So my account is negative $97 no problem i can pay it next week because its the weekend.

    Nope stacked with 2 NSF fees, but wait, Compass Bank decided to add one of their NSF fee charges FIRST, then my other transactions just to slap a third NSF fee onto my account.

    Can they reorder transactions absolutely, can they remove the false NSF fees Absolutely Admins can do anything they want with the system.

    People can debate me about anything they want but I am right about this and I have snapshots of both incidents to prove it submitted one to RIP-OFF report, and another one recently too stored on my pc proving that they charged a NSF fee on purpose just to hit me with 2 more.

  28. Kelli

    HALLELU-YAH!!! I KNEW I WASN’T GOING CRAZY!!!! PLZ PLZ PLZ help me – I’m abt to have my BBVA ACCT CHG!”‘d OFF DUETO NSF’s that they did this this time and HAVE DONE THIS EXACTREARRANGING TIMES BEFORE!!! Is there a way to get into this LAWSUIT??

    God Bless You for STANDING YOUR GROUND!!!!

    Kelli Wood

  29. Ralph

    I used Compass Bank for a few years… They are awful and underhanded, seemed like I was getting charged with NSF fees constantly. Then, I had $40 in my bank account, but was unemployed for two years. Didn’t touch it in those two years. I found another job and tried to set up direct deposit with the new job, but then come to find out that my Compass account was inactive and had a negative balance. How did this happen if I didn’t use it in two years? Customer service said that the money was deemed “unclaimed” since I hadn’t used it in two years and that I wouldn’t get it back. And the negative balance was due to fees. That $40 probably went into the bank president’s bonus check. I immediately told them I would never bank with them again, and that I would not pay those fees.

    I’ve been banking at Wells Fargo for several years now and I have never had a single NSF charge from them, and the person I set the account up with promised that they would NEVER touch my money, even if I didn’t use my account for any amount of years.

    Avoid Compass! They’re crooks.

  30. laurel

    I’ve been with Compass for over a year now. I have had 3 instances where my account is missing almost $200 and all my receipts/transactions and auto drafts are accounted for. They of course have no explanation. So needless to say I will be twitching over all my banking to my credit union.

  31. Hellbent706

    * I’ve been with Compass for over 10 years and now my loyalty to them is near dead. I am in search of a new bank or credit union. There was once a time at Compass when you only got charged a NSF fee only if the bank has to lend or credit your account because you didn’t have sufficient funds to cover the withdrawal amount. It was like charging you a fee for having to lend you money. Those days are long GONE! They will now charge you a NSF fee even if they NEVER lend you a single penny! For example: Instead of the bank sending the payment and charging me an NSF for paying it, Compass put the transaction on hold until my deposit cleared and charged me for putting it on hold. Wow!! WTF!! I didn’t even ask them to hold anything! If you’re gonna charge me a NSF fee you could at least credit me the money to justify the fee.
    *Now I’m starting to find little $2.50 and $5 fees coming out every month called CASH DEPOSIT FEES! WTF is that!!? If I make a deposit of more than $999 to cover any payments coming out of bill pay, Compass charges me a fee for making a big deposit! If I don’t make the deposit I get charged a NSF fee so I’m screwed either way!!!
    *Also, to anyone who thinks that the bank charges NSF fees simply to encourage people to be more responsible is an idiot! NSF fees just like any other bank fees are designed to generate revenue for the bank and make money off of people who are low income (99% of rich people don’t get NSF fees). Banks take advantage of the fact that most people by human nature make mistakes and are not highly organized. Compass makes software programs to capitalize on peoples ignorance and mistakes, not to fix it.

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