Going to school at The Bank

TCF Bank is now officially the only bank with a Coffman Union branch.

Daily Editorial Board

A sign on the TCF Bank office in the West Bank Skyway reads, in part: âÄúThe U of M did the homework for you and found TCF Bank to be the most convenient. Open an account today.âÄù
Of course, TCF Bank is the most convenient âÄî itâÄôs the only bank in Coffman Union. It became the only bank to have an office Coffman when the University of Minnesota didnâÄôt renew its lease with U. S. BankâÄôs office there last summer, despite its desire to remain. âÄúWe would have loved to renew that lease,âÄù said Jennifer Wendt, a spokeswoman for U.S. Bank. So would have we.
The University gave U.S. BankâÄôs old spot in Coffman to âÄî you guessed it âÄî TCF Bank. Since U.S. Bank closed that branch and removed its ATMs, the only other bank with a presence in Coffman is Wells Fargo, which maintains an ATM.
For the University to have an exclusivity agreement with, for instance, Coca-Cola makes sense because CokeâÄôs competitors donâÄôt offer much in the way of a different product. Soda is soda.
Yet in granting TCF a monopoly, the University is making it as difficult as possible for students to entrust their money with whatever bank offers the best service. ThatâÄôs disappointing for students TCF ripped off or students who donâÄôt want to bank at an institution making donations to MN Forward. Students who want to bank elsewhere can, but the UniversityâÄôs allowance of TCFâÄôs monopoly makes it harder to do so. ThatâÄôs not what a public institution of higher education should be doing.
University officials have been trying to nickname TCF Bank Stadium âÄúThe Bank.âÄù But with traces of banking competition leaving campus, might that be a more fitting epithet for the entire University?