I’ve not made mention of Capital One’s purchase of ING Direct USA yet in this blog, mostly because I figured every other money blogger out there had probably handled my bitching for me.
My suspicions were largely affirmed when I read this dispatch from Ad Age:
I disliked — nay, despised — the idea of my beloved ING Direct accounts falling under the stead of Capital One. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one:
What do I have against Capital One? Nothing tangible, really. They’ve not shafted me in the past on credit-card rates or anything. But, to be fair, it isn’t like I’ve done a TARP-load of business with them, either. Ahem.
Where Do We Go From Here?
I don’t know why, really, but even though my Electric Orange checking account screen still says ING Direct, just logging-in now feels … I dunno … dirty.
ING Direct’s Orange Savings account was my first banking love, as it was for so many online savers. The idea of online-only savings and checking accounts never occurred to me until another blogger introduced me to ING Direct, and what I saw, I liked, right off the bat. ING Direct was different. They didn’t throw credit-card offers in my face every twelve minutes; they actually paid above-market rates on savings; they didn’t barrage me with ads for Christmas loans and nothing-down mortgages. (I suppose it should’ve been obvious, even then, that they were short-termers.)
All those positives will, I suspect, disappear in time, now that ownership has been, uh, reconfigured. Cap One will no doubt do everything it can to monetize those ING accounts. This hasn’t happened yet, of course, but just thinking about it saddens me. I really, really liked ING Direct.
When ING Direct came along, I actually thought maybe savers (read: tightwads) and banks could get along together okay — maybe even have something sort of “cool” going on, with any luck — but, as so often happens, reality has now set in. Savers don’t make money for banks; borrowers do. And so Capital One will plunge ahead with turning what’s left of ING’s savers into Capital One’s borrowers. Or, failing that, at least turn them into fee-payers.
We all know it’s coming.