According to a 2014 survey by banking and payments technology firm FIS, 77 percent of customers worldwide are unhappy with their banks overall performance. Safety and security appear to be primary concerns among those polled, followed by transparency issues when it comes to pricing and fees. If youre less than enthused about how well your financial institution is working for you, you may want to pursue other options. Here are five signs it may be time to switch banks.
- Compromised security. If your bank isnt covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), consider it a red flag. This organization is responsible for regulating the banking industry, and covers deposits for checking and savings accounts as well as most money market deposits. Without FDIC coverage, your cash isnt insured – which means you could lose it.
- Too many fees. While all banks charge fees for certain products and services, many have been increasing the number of fees they charge their customers. Whats more, several financial institutions won’t necessarily notify you when a fee is being charged – theyll simply deduct it automatically, and hope you wont notice. If youre starting to see sneaky or unexpected charges on your bank statements such as teller, account maintenance, inactivity, or transaction fees, it may be time to look at your options. These costs can add up quickly and make a serious dent in your funds. You may be able to eliminate them if you talk to your bank, but go in armed with the knowledge that you can get a better deal elsewhere.
- Inconvenience. Its your money, so you should be able to make withdrawals, deposits and transfers however and whenever you want. If having quick access to cash is important to you, and your bank doesnt have a sufficient number of branches in your vicinity, it may be time to switch – especially if youre being charged steep withdrawal fees for using out-of-network ATMs. The same goes for mobile and online banking capabilities. If having 24-hour access to your accounts is a must for you, and your financial institution doesnt offer this convenience, you may want to think twice about sticking with them.
- Poor customer service. Unfortunately, some banks just don’t prioritize customer service. If you feel like the tellers, loan officers or telephone representatives at your financial institution are rude, dismissive or indifferent towards you, then they dont deserve your business. There are plenty of other banks that would love to have your money!
- High interest rates. We all have the right to earn a fair interest rate on our savings and checking accounts. If your bank isnt doing its part to help you make money from the money you already have, you may want to shop around – or even consider an online-only bank such as Ally (NOTE: Underlined text links to https://www.ally.com).
If you do decide to make a switch, we recommend comparison shopping several different financial institutions and consulting a financial professional before making any changes that might affect your portfolio.