After the news broke that Bank of America and other big banks were planning on charging monthly fees for customers to use their debit cards, a national public outcry ensued. Petitions against the debit card fee were signed by hundreds of thousands of people online, The Guardian reports. BofA did back down from implementing the fee, which is great news for loyal Bank of America customers. Even though many customers are still upset over the bank’s previous intentions, how many of those people will actually switch banks? The result may surprise you. According to a study of BBC Watchdog viewers, people in Briton are more likely to get divorced than switch banks, even when they are highly dissatisfied with their bank’s service.
People in the British study claim they view the process of switching banks to be “a pointless and time consuming exercise,” which clearly expresses exasperation with the banking industry as a whole. While many Americans likely echo those sentiments, others are attempting to rally the masses in order to get people to switch to credit unions with more (perceived) reasonable terms, even going as far as to promote a national “Bank Transfer Day,” The Huffington Post reports. “Bank Transfer Day,” designated as November 5, 2011, encourages everyone to go out and switch their big-bank accounts to a local credit union account. While that may be good advice for some people, that advice won’t benefit everyone.
Here’s why: Just like the same prescription medication and clothing wardrobe won’t work for everyone, the same bank (or type of bank) won’t benefit everyone either. Credit unions are a wonderful type of financial institution, and they (on average) have lower interest rates on loans and higher rates on deposit accounts. But credit unions aren’t a panacea; they aren’t the remedy for all of the banking industry woes and they aren’t the best option for every consumer. Many people (especially those who travel a lot) may be better off with a big-name national bank like Bank of America so that they can be assured no matter where they go in the country, they can find a branch (and an ATM) if needed. Other people may find that a local credit union works great for them, depending upon their banking and lifestyle habits.
People shouldn’t stay with their bank no matter what (especially if they would divorce their bank had it been a spouse), nor should they blindly deposit all of their money in a local credit union just because it’s not a “big bank.” While it is important to be cautious about rising bank fees, it’s also important to consider your individual needs and choose a bank that benefits you best.
For the best information on banks, click here.