Alternatives to TCF Bank


On Jan. 24, the Minnesota Daily published an article titled, “Profs to protest closing TCF student accounts.” This article detailed TCF Bank’s decision to close several Iranian students’ accounts, a decision which was described by a few professors as “textbook prejudice.”

After reading this article, I decided to write for two reasons. The first is because this article highlights the problematic relationship between the University of Minnesota students and TCF. The second reason is to inform students of Minnesota Public Interest Research Group’s “Move Your Money Day,” an event designed to educate students about banking alternatives.

However, those hit hardest by this close relationship are the students. TCF has an almost monolithic presence on the University’s campus, and the best testament of this is the University’s U Card, which may also double as an ATM card for students’ TCF accounts. Everything that seemingly goes through the University has to go through TCF first.

TCF’s presence on campus is, in many ways, monopolistic; I have yet to see evidence of a single competitor anywhere around campus. Having a TCF account isn’t technically mandatory, but that doesn’t mean students are left alone. TCF never fails to bombard students with “opportunities” or “reasons” to open up a TCF account.

For students new to this country, or even banking in general, the presence of TCF is so overpowering that TCF may seem like the only banking option viable on campus. Needless to say, little is done to dispel this belief. It is because of this that I feel students should know the alternatives.