Think Twice Before Ditching Your Current Bank

by Tisha Tolar on 9 October 2010 2 comments

Have you finally had enough with your bank? With so many changes in the banking industry, it is not unusual for many bank customers to get frustrated or even disheartened to see their money being handled in an unfavorable manner. There are thousands of options available to consumers as to where they can place their money, but there are also many considerations that must be taken into account to find the best bank to meet your financial needs.

If you are truly frustrated or even disgusted with the way your current bank is treating you, take a step back and consider the following tips to make sure you are upgrading banks rather than going from one bad apple to another.

What's the Problem?

Digging to the root of your issue with your current bank makes it possible to avoid getting in the same boat with your new bank. Are you unhappy with the rules and restrictions? Does your current bank bleed your account with endless fees? Do you want better rates? By knowing what it is that makes you unhappy in your current bank, you can take the necessary steps to avoid a new bank with the same issues.

Do Your Own Research

The days of banking with one of three banks in your local community are long gone. Today's consumers can choose to bank locally, nationally and online. With so many options, it may become overwhelming deciding which bank is right for you. This doesn't have to be the case.

With a little online research on your part, you can narrow your options quickly. You can compare not only banks, but individual accounts as well as money market accounts, CD and IRA rates, making the process quick and easy. When looking at banks and bank accounts side-by-side, you have the opportunity to see where you can make the most money, save the most money, and access your money with ease and convenience.

Make a Clean Break

Once you have decided on a new bank, it is time to make the switch. A few decades ago, that would be as simple as taking your money from one place to the next. However, in this age of technology a few additional steps are required.

First you must open your new account. You will need this new account information available to set up direct deposit and automated payments. You will want to stop using your old account, but do not close it just yet. Leave some money in the account to cover any outstanding checks or other scheduled withdrawals. Your old account should remain open until all matters concerning the switch are completed. When you have confirmed all credits and debits are now working from your new account and all outstanding checks have cleared, you can then close you old account.

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Guest's picture

I would not swtich banks on a whim, and there would have to be a pretty serious breach for me to do so.

If I did want to, I'd dig deep into the research of the new bank.

New policies, complete fee schedule, and probably a personal visit so I could "grill" a rep about any "hidden" stuff I might not be aware of.

Also, if you bank online and have any kind of ACH's from your account, remember that all of this will have to be set up with your new bank.

All of that translates into a little too much hassle for me at the moment.

Andrea Karim's picture

I dumped Bank of America last year for the Boeing Employees Credit Union, and have never looked back. Bank of America's corporate behavior over the last couple of years has really bugged me, and in Washington and Idaho, we don't have any of the mobile banking options - plus, it often took over a week for purchases to clear my account.

I also had issues with re-occurring fees from subscriptions that I had never signed up for. Like, one time, I bought a piece of software that was supposed to help me wipe malware from my computer. Not only did it crash my PC, but a year later, I found the company taking an unauthorized subscription "fee" out of my account, even though I wasn't using the software at all. Getting ahold of the company that made the software was tough - they don't publish a phone number, and only respond to forum complaints. BofA wasn't willing to reverse the charges, so I dropped them and probably 10 or so unauthorized charges from magazines, online "support", and other businesses that I wasn't even aware were charging me for stuff.