banking

7 questions to ask before you switch banks

Looking for a new bank? Here's what to ask
Looking for a new bank? Here's what to ask

If you're among the many customers fed up with high bank fees, poor service or low interest rates, you may want to switch banks or trade your bank for a credit union.

"You used to just decide if you wanted to get a toaster or a microwave when you opened a new account, or go to the bank with the most convenient branch," says Mitchell Freedman, CEO of MFAC Financial Advisors Inc. in Westlake Village, Calif. "Today, bank fees can hit you in ways you never thought about, so you need to carefully compare your continuing costs of banking."

Making that comparison isn't so simple.

"Among the 12 largest banks, the median number of bank disclosure pages for checking account policies and fees is 69 pages. Believe it or not, that's an improvement over 2011, when the median was 111 pages. There's no way a consumer could wade through all that," says Susan Weinstock, project director for Safe Checking in the Electronic Age, a project by the Pew Center on the States in Washington, D.C.

The following seven questions can help you find the bank that fits your financial needs.

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