While plenty of customers have parted ways with the banking industry over the past year, it looks like many disgruntled account holders aren't doing anything about their frustrations.
A new Consumer Reports survey of more than 1,100 account holders shows that nearly 20 percent of all banking customers have considered moving their money to a new financial institution within the past year. However, when it came time to make the decision, nearly half of those customers didn't actually switch banks.
What were some of the main reasons these account holders cited for staying with their existing banks?
- Concerns about the trouble it would take to transfer all their automated payments and deposits to a new account.
- Concerns that the process would take too much time and effort to complete.
- Aversion to paying any fees to transfer their own money.
Switching banks isn't easy. If you're a regular reader, you've probably read some of the horror stories of zombie accounts reopening due to account holders forgetting to rearrange all of their automatic payments and direct deposits. Even if you're able to close your account and open a new one without problems, it still requires time and energy. Bank switching can cost you a lot of money, too.
If you're truly unhappy with your banking relationship, though, I think it's worth the work to determine where you can find the services and tools you need for your personal finances. Make a list of what's important to you in your financial institution, and then, compare different account terms, interest rates and consumer reviews. From big banks to community banks to credit unions, there are plenty of options. Sure, the short-term hassles and potential fees are an obvious downside. However, if it means you'll be able to avoid fees and reap the benefits of better customer service, it can pay off in the long run.
What do you think of these survey results? Have you considered switching banks within the past few months?