No one will shed a tear when the Wachovia Bank signs come down and the red logo of Wells Fargo takes its place. That’s because Wachovia’s boorish policies actually cost Park Cities residents money. First, here’s how writer Bill Freehling describes Wachovia:
Wachovia Corp., a once-thriving operation with a business presence throughout much of the U.S., became a poster child for banking incompetence during the financial crisis of 2008. The bank’s ill-timed purchase of Golden West Financial Corp. during the peak of the housing boom left it drowning in a sea of bad loans.
To the utter dismay (and disgust) of consumers, for the past ten years banks have over-expanded their locations, taking over retail locations from local merchants and driving up rents which crippled the mom-and-pop businesses we all love. But Wachovia went farther: in the Park Cities, it took our last two free-standing gas stations in Snider Plaza and by HP Village, which killed competition and allowed the remaining station to increase rates by 35-40 cents a gallon. So, for the average driver who uses 1,200 gallons per year (big SUVs use more), the “Wachovia Effect” was this: spend the time and hassle to drive outside the community to get your gas, or pay an extra $420 per year. With 20,000 drivers in HP and UP, these greedy, short-sighted characters cost us more than $840,000 per year.