Especially in times of potential economic downturn, consumers begin to critically assess their financial positions. This process may include considering a switch to a new bank. There are so many traditional and online banking institutions to choose from, the options may seem overwhelming. A bank that is not FDIC insured or makes headlines for unseemly behavior sends many customers running for the hills. Sometimes the clues are less obvious. Here are five other signs that it’s time to switch banks.
1. High or Hidden Fees
There are certain instances, such as a checking account overdraft, where customers expect to be charged a fee. Monthly maintenance fees or statement processing fees may only be a few dollars each month, but these extras add up. Some banks even charge customers for account enquiries made inside a branch if the information was available by phone or online. Banks who charge for customer service are not worth the effort.
2. Lack of Customer Support
Customers have different preferences when it comes to customer service offerings. It is absolutely imperative for financial institutions to offer a variety of ways for customers to connect. Customer service should be available by phone, email, in person, and even online chats. Hours may vary, but should definitely include evening and weekend options to accommodate customers. If a bank has limited or poor customer service, switch to SCCU free checking and eliminate the hassle.
3. Absence of Local Branches or ATMs
Most financial institutions have at least a basic phone app version that customers can check account balances. Some banks offer advanced options such as full service mobile banking and mobile deposits. These features offer added convenience for busy customers, but there are times when a visit to the branch is necessary. Customers are not likely to drive more than a few miles to visit a local branch. If a bank does not have a strong community presence, they may partner with local gas stations, convenience stores, and even other banks or credit unions to offer surcharge free ATMs. When none of these options is available and a bank is simply inconvenient, it’s time to move on to greener pastures.
4. Low Interest Rates
Banks must offer competitive rates in order to maintain relationships with existing customers and attract new ones. For example, interest rates on general savings accounts should be at or above the national average. Many financial institutions offer savings accounts with different tier levels, and interest rates rise as the account balance increases. Banks who offer competitive rates may even offer interest on checking account balances if they meet a monthly average balance. Consumers who do not get this service will switch to SCCU free checking and take advantage of greater benefits at a bank focused on customers. Banks that cannot offer attractive interest rates on savings accounts and certificates of deposit may not be able to satisfy their customer base in other ways.
5. Basic or Limited Financial Products
Alternatively, there are times when consumers want to see low interest rates. Mortgage loans and bank credit cards offered through local banks must offer competitively low rates to remain competitive with national lenders. Consumers also want their bank to offer additional products and services to make life more convenient. Banking institutions should offer information and perhaps advice for retirement savings, general investments, and stock market trading. Some banks even couple other services such as home and auto insurance with easy automatic payment plans. If a bank cannot offer competitive rates on home or auto loans, and offers no other incentive, it may be time to consider switching to a better bank.