I noticed in the press release that USAA claims that they will be better positioned to offer better services on the bank end, etc. due to selling the USAA brokerage business to Victory. I have seen many claims by USAA that they will be better in products and what not and really don't notice much of a difference. My question is, HOW is USAA going to offer better to members? What does that mean? Does it mean better rates, more inhouse CSRs that are knowledgeable about USAA policy and procedures, or establishing better relationships with the likes of Fidelity, Vanguard, etc to offer more ETFs and Mutual Funds? It's exciting to hear that this is a positive for other aspects of the Bank, but forgive me if I'm a little skeptical based on past announcements of good things like the limitless card and rewards checking that I never saw. Thank you for your time.
All I have experienced accross most aspects of USAA is a decrease in the quality of the products. The telephone service people are very good. The quality and pricing of the products is severely lacking. After over 40 years with USAA, I am for the first time starting to consider alternatives. I've already moved my brokerage accounts.
I think the trick is to not blindly believe any entity has the best of everything. I use USAA for banking because it works best for what I am trying to accomplish. I am willing to give up some interest in the short term for the budgeting capability that it offers and simplicity, it is worth it for me. However I shopped and moved insurance long ago, I have other brokerage relationships, but still use USAA brokerage for money market fund, as my version of a high interest savings, as they pay over 2% on return. Nothing in life is 100% perfect and you must shop around for what fits your desires. I just want clarity on what USAA plans to do, as it seems there is always smoke and no fire.
"forgive me if I'm a little skeptical...."
You have every right to be skeptical. Services rarely improve when companies/services are bought from others. One example--the transfer USAA made from Mastercard to Visa. Notifications for pending charges on their website went into the toilet. What about the number of unauthorized charges on those new cards and the challenges of getting USAA to reverse those charges. When it comes to Victory Capital and USAA, I believe Victory Capital's $1 Billion purchase ($850M guaranteed and $150M over the next four years) of USAA's Investment business will go down the same path. They have a lot more debt now and have to be motivated to try and pay that debt down. They only way they can pay it down it using other people's money. I doubt they have that much money just sitting around which means they'll have to barrow it from somewhere. What does that mean for it investors? I think the answer is pretty obvious to a lot of people. I left USAA's investment (and Banking) back in 2017 and haven't regretted it. My returns at Vanguard and Schwab are on average 150%+ higher than what I was getting at USAA. USAA Bank was great back in the 1980s-1990s, but I think others like NFCU offer better rates and promotions on the products/services for their Credit Cards, CD, Savings, etc. Like JimmyB84 said, everyone has unique requirements/needs and they have to do what works best for their financial situation. I'm looking at my insurance products now. Over the past 4-5 years, I've had to cut coverages to keep USAA's regular rate increases manageable--but at what cost? I don't think thats the solution for the long term. I think many companies like USAA bank on the hope that most of their customers will think it's too much of a hassle to research better alternatives and just endure the mediocre services/products or challenges of getting their issues resolved.
Hi Tom, I appreciate your concern for my recent comment. No need to refer to any experts. I'm by no means frustrated. My 23+yrs as a commissioned officer (retired mid 2011) taught me how to deal with many challenging situations. We know you have a difficult job in trying to redirect customer concerns so others can try to resolve them. Mr. Stuart (with the support of the Board of Directors) has his view of how USAA should be managed and how business should be conducted. The bad part is that many of your customers don't seem to be happy about that direction. He may have worn the uniform for a brief time, but I don't think he understands military members/veterans/families when it comes to supporting them. It's too bad that USAA (like some other companies) feels it must use military members/families as pawns to promote itself as an organization dedicated to helping them at any time. There are a lot of smart people out there who know better. Frustrated? Not so--there are always alternatives if you're willing to explore them. Have a good weekend. :-)