Bank head says ‘good intentions’ behind taking $1 from every customer to help needy

PITTSBURGH — The CEO of an area credit union told Channel 11 they had good intentions when they rolled out a plan to help the less fortunate.

But outcry from customers quickly had this program shutting down.

“I’m all about helping people, but you didn’t ask us,” said Lexy Simpson.

Simpson was one of dozens of union members who reached out to Channel 11 upset over seeing what they thought was a new fee on their bank statements. She went to the nearest location to start asking questions and found a long line of customers in a similar situation.

“There was a little lady in there telling them she wants her dollar back. It was the cutest thing. But again, they want to know where their money is at. They think its safe in the bank but obviously it’s not if you’re just going to take it,” Simpson said.

She said she was given a pamphlet that explained the program. A dollar was collected from every member each month and would be put in a community impact fund. That fund could then help credit union members who were facing hardships. Simpson said she’d be happy to help, but was never asked.

“This is wrong. There should have been notification for Chrome customers to accept or decline this,” said Kassie Luisi, another customer.

Chrome’s CEO said the money was going to customers who took a financial hit during the pandemic. He said they followed proper regulations in notifying customers of the new fee, but acknowledged it was not effective. He said the money will be refunded to all customers and there will be an apology issued.

The money should be back in customers’ accounts by end of business Friday.