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September 25, 2021

Update: Woman beats bank with angry YouTube video

Well, she did it.

Last Thursday in this space we discussed Ann Minch, a California woman who had taken to recording an angry anti-bank YouTube video to protest Bank of America jacking her credit card interest rate from 12.99% to 30%.

Minch started quite a sizzle online, her rant getting attention from MSN and the Huffington Post and turning her into a kind of William Wallace to unemployed debtors.

In this blog, we turned the story into a debate over whether trying to take on a bonafide institution was possible (or a good move) with social media tools - like YouTube - banks never really had to deal with before.

Most agreed it was a bad idea.

Ann Minch has proved otherwise.

Without putting her behaviour on a pedestal too much, it is worth reporting that the YouTube star has posted another video declaring her victory over Bank of America’s rate hikes.

In her original rebellion against the bank, Minch stated she had never missed – nor was late with – a payment and could not afford the outrageous interest hike because she’d just been laid-off from her job as a mental health care manager. Seemed fair.

As it turns out, she had missed a payment in 2008 which was found to be the reason for the interest raise. Regardless, a rep from B of A reached out to Minch after her video hit well over 300,000 views and settled the dispute.

According to the Consumerist, Minch will get her rate returned to her desired 12.99% and, somewhat surprisingly, wasn’t encouraged to stop her online rants or take down the anti-Bank of America video.

So, does this change anyone’s mind on the matter?

Many thought Minch was crazy the first time around (“The bank will survive her default, but she will be financially ruined,” one critic mused), but has this now become a different kind of beast?

The safe bet is that this was a rare instance of lightning in a bottle; any amateur video getting the notoriety Minch got with 300,000 views and help from the media isn’t happening for every Jack or Jill with a banking problem.

But it stands to mention this could have set an interesting precedent going forward. Banks have not quite faced the sort of rule-the-court-of-public-opinion machine that readily available social medias afford, and the incurable optimist out there might have to think that – maybe, just maybe – YouTube and the like could just force them to stay in line every once in a while.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...