Breakthrough Web Design - 515-897-1144 - Web sites for businesses
News & Entertainment for Mason City, Clear Lake & the Entire North Iowa Region

Founded October 1, 2010

Choate chased from bank branch, vows to keep going

This news story was published on September 22, 2012.
Advertise on NIT Subscribe to NIT

John Choate was back Friday in Mason City taking on the big bank.

by Matt Marquardt –

MASON CITY – John Choate resumed his crusade against the “big bank” Friday afternoon.

Choate had been in Mason City on Tuesday voicing his dissatisfaction with the service he received at a U.S. Bank branch, and he picked up where he left off on Friday.

“I’m back,” Choate said with a chuckle, waiving to people in cars passing by on South Washington Avenue at about 3 o’clock.

“The response is even better today,” he said.  “Everyone’s real friendly, and several have shared with me stories like mine.  Some told me how the  bank took money out of their accounts for no reason.

“One man told me how they took 9 cents out of his account and he went in to complain (at a different U.S. Bank branch).  He said they told him ‘it’s just 9 cents, why are you upset?'”

Choate explained that if the banks are taking “9 cents” or whatever small amount out of millions of peoples’ bank accounts, “that could be millions of dollars they are stealing.”

Choate started his day before noon at the U.S. Bank branch on South Illinois Avenue, “but there was a complaint and the Mason City police asked me to leave.  The officer was very friendly.”  Choate said he didn’t know who made the complaint.

He then came over to the downtown location, but couldn’t get his sign back where it was on Tuesday, directly in front of the bank.

“The employees have been parking there all day.  One leaves and another pulls right in, and they go inside the bank to work.”

A woman passing by in a blue SUV stopped to chat with Choate and say that she, too, has had issues at U.S. Bank with a checking account.

“They take the big check withdrawal first, then the small ones, and if they can get you with a fee on all those, they do it.” she explained.

When asked if this is the end of the line with his sign and voicing his concerns at U.S. Bank, Choate said “No.  Nope.  I’m not done at all.  I’ve got plans but I can’t talk about them now.  I hope to get some federal government involvement.”


John Choate talks with a motorist passing by his sign in downtown Mason City on Friday afternoon. This woman also voiced displeasure at U.S. Bank policies.


Watch video:


Need help with your website?
Call your local professional,
Breakthrough Web Design:
or go to

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

 characters available

17 Responses to Choate chased from bank branch, vows to keep going

  1. senior native Reply Report comment

    September 23, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    “Sweet Boys”, grandma Jean? Those boys have been in trouble since they could walk and talk because their mother is a drug addict and now the taxpayers have to pay their “room and board”. Your attitude is why they are criminals, open your eyes and wake up and try to get them some help if you care for them. You are to blame also for thinking they are just sweet boys. How ignorant you are! They are both headed for prison for the rest of their lives.

    • Gma Jean Reply Report comment

      September 24, 2012 at 2:10 pm

      The system we have has made it difficult for them. You people are just too dumb to see that. They really are kind young men.

  2. Elefant Man Reply Report comment

    September 22, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    If you can’t park there, neither can their customers. Dorks.

  3. Melissa Reply Report comment

    September 22, 2012 at 8:38 pm


    Keep doing what you need to do! The only reason that the employees parked where you put your sign is because they know they were in the wrong, and this is their way to “stick it to you” so you can’t park there. I believe you could park along side the bank or better yet, across the street with your sign and an arrow pointing to the bank. It’s the principal of the matter! Keep up the good work! Thank you for doing what so many of us want to do, but don’t.

  4. Katie Reply Report comment

    September 22, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Banks can charge for just about anything they want to. If you don’t like them, keep your cash under your mattress and risk loss by fire or theft.

  5. Faye Reply Report comment

    September 22, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Way to go John! Wish we all had the time and engery to make a stand.

  6. Thought Reply Report comment

    September 22, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Park in front of First Citizens, Farmers State Bank, Community National, NSB they charge a fee also…I think you are forgetting a bank is a private for profit business. I see your point but they have the right to charge.

    I went to a bank to cash a check that was drawn on the bank.

    I do not have an account with the bank and they refused to cash the check. Can it do this?


    There is no federal law or regulation that requires national banks to cash checks for noncustomers. Most banks have policies that allow check cashing services only for customers who have an account with them in order to protect both themselves and their customers from forgeries.

    Once a national bank cashes a check that has been forged by a noncustomer, they may lose money if they cannot collect from the person who cashed the check. Also, if a national bank agrees to cash a check for a noncustomer, it may legally charge the presenter a fee.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      September 22, 2012 at 12:32 pm

      If you don’t like so many regulations keep that in mind when you are in the voting booth this Fall. Do you think banks come up with unpopular practices so they can get bad publicity?

      • Watchdog Reply Report comment

        September 22, 2012 at 9:49 pm

        You are right. Obama is in bed with the banks. That is why I am voting for Romney and hope he will change the law that allows banks to do this.

        It was Obama and his Democrats that passed banking reform 3 years ago. They screwed the middle class real good and then run around lying to the people saying the want to help us.

        What a crock!!

        Time to throw the communist OUT!

      • rahmbo Reply Report comment

        September 23, 2012 at 11:11 am

        While Obama is no doubt in bed with the banks, the repubs have fought any attempt at all to regulate banks–and most of those dem attempts have been weak at best.

        And if anyone doesn’t think Romney is also in bed with the world of unregulated high finance, they’ve been asleep–that’s where he made his fortune.

        It never ceases to amaze me that all the pro-“free” market fans and all the pro-“deregulation” fans are the first to gripe when the “free” market gets into their wallet.

        If you don’t like our “free” market banking system, keep your money at home or agitate for more regs, but don’t do it while you also tout the free market and fewer regs.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      September 22, 2012 at 12:42 pm

      Banks are supposed to honor their own checks. It does not matter who the check was written to, but who it was written by. I do this quite often with my business, prevents me from getting charged fees by my bank when a check bounces. If a bank refused to honor their checks, I as a business would refuse to accept checks from that bank. In this case, US Bank.

    • anonymous Reply Report comment

      September 23, 2012 at 12:49 am

      Why would they cash the check at all if they are so worried about losing money. Giving them five bucks makes them feel like your worth the risk? Let me guess they are buying an insurance policy with that five spot. They just know if you deposit it in your own bank it will have at least a three day hold. So if you want your money now you will have to pay.

    • CNB Reply Report comment

      September 24, 2012 at 12:12 pm

      Community National Bank DOES NOT charge $5.00 to noncustomers who want to cash a check drawn on us.

  7. Gma Jean Reply Report comment

    September 22, 2012 at 10:57 am

    How about you just get a job instead of wasting your time.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      September 22, 2012 at 11:18 am

      You just don’t understand, its not about the money, but the principle. John is not doing this to get money out of the bank, or even over the $5, but to let the world know about this and other banks deceptive practices. Everyone always complains about what the bank does to them, but no one does anything about it.

    • anonymous Reply Report comment

      September 22, 2012 at 11:25 am

      How about you get a job so you can pay back the taxpayers for your grandsons prison bill.

      • Gma Jean Reply Report comment

        September 22, 2012 at 8:52 pm

        Don’t you worry about what my sweet boys are doing. They’re fine citizens that have been wrongly accused.