Election Results Expected to Have Minimal Impact on How Americans Save

Election Results Expected to Have Minimal Impact on How Americans Save

BestCashCow.com, an online resource for comprehensive bank rate information, today released the results of its user survey on trends in banking and savings decisions. The survey, conducted between September 28 - October 16, 2012, polled 653 users nationwide on topics ranging from how they choose a bank to whether their savings decisions will be impacted by the upcoming presidential election.

 

Election Results Expected to Have Minimal Impact on How Americans Save

BestCashCow Releases Results of Survey on Consumer Banking Habits  

Newton, Mass. (October 18, 2012) -- BestCashCow.com, an online resource for comprehensive bank rate information, today released the results of its user survey on trends in banking and savings decisions. The survey, conducted between September 28 - October 16, 2012, polled 653 users nationwide on topics ranging from how they choose a bank to whether their savings decisions will be impacted by the upcoming presidential election.

“During this campaign season, candidates have focused a great deal of attention on the economy and its impact on American households,” said Sol Nasisi, president of BestCashCow. “However, most Americans, regardless of age or where they live, have not changed their savings habits significantly in the past four years and don't expect the election results to have a meaningful impact on their ability to save going forward."

Regardless of who wins the election, 76% of savers say it won't have a significant impact on how they manage their money. That number drops to 60% for those over 65. “Older savers may be more anxious about the election since any changes to Social Security and Medicare will have an immediate impact on their finances,” said Mr. Nasisi.

Great Recession Hasn’t Impacted Savers’ Habits

Despite the record low interest rates brought upon by the Great Recession and championed by the Fed, consumers are keeping their money safe in the bank. Eighty-one percent of survey respondents said that record low interest rates have not pushed them to withdraw their money from the bank. In addition, a majority (53%) of respondents said that their savings and investing habits have not changed over the past four years despite scars of the financial collapse, the great recession, the increase in the Federal debt, and the persistently high unemployment rate. In fact, 74% of the 65+ respondents say they haven't made any significant changes to their savings and investment habits in the last four years.

"Savers haven’t recovered from the stock market crash in 2008 and see banks as the safest place to park their money, despite record low interest rates,” noted Mr. Nasisi. “Bankers beware, though. Savers are always looking for a better deal and sixty-five percent of respondents said they would be at least somewhat likely to open an account at another bank that offered a premium on interest rates."

A Majority of Savers Use Technology to Manage their Finances

While Presidents come and go, and the economy rises and falls, the Internet has steadily become a major factor in how savers relate to their bank or credit union. “Ten years ago, the Internet had just started to impact the banking world. Now it is a major factor,” noted Mr. Nasisi. Survey results indicate that 55% of consumers do the majority of their banking transactions via computer, while 26% use the Internet to find a bank they want to use. In choosing a bank, 74% of respondents said they were somewhat or very influenced by online reviews. Mobile usage, however, has not yet made a dent in online banking. In fact, only 4% of respondents use mobile as their primary means of conducting banking.

Additional Survey Data

Below are the survey questions and some select findings.

Q. How much will this year's election impact your savings and investing decisions?

  • 76% of all savers surveyed say that this year's election will not have a significant impact on their savings and investing decisions.
  • 60% of 18-25 year olds believe the election will have minimal or no impact on their savings and investing decisions, while 40% of those 65+ say it will have a significant impact.

 

Q. Have low interest rates made you move money out of a bank?

  • 82% of respondents have not moved their money out of the bank in response to low interest rates.

 

Q. Have your savings and investing habits changed in the past your years?

  • 53% of all respondents say that their savings and investing habits haven't changed over the past four years.
  • 74% of those over 65 say it hasn't changed.

 

Q. How likely are you to open an account at another bank if they offer an extra 1% yield?

  • 65% of all respondents would consider moving their money to another bank if they could earn an extra 1% yield.

 

Q. How do you conduct most of your banking transactions?

  • 55% of all respondents conduct their transactions online.
  • Only 44% of respondents 65+ do most of their banking online. The branch is still favored by this group.

 

Q. Of which of the following institutions are you a customer?

  • 36% of all respondents reported having some relationship with a credit union.

 

Q. How do you find and research a local bank when you want to switch?

  • 40% all of respondents choose a local bank that they are familiar with when they decide to switch.
  • Those over 65+ show a much stronger preference that the general population for choosing a bank they already know and are comfortable with.
  • The Internet (26%) is the most popular means of discovering new banks.

 

Q. When choosing a bank or credit union, what matters the most to you?

  • Although 34% of all respondents say location/convenience is the most important factor in choosing a bank, just as many (32%) in the 65+ bracket say rates are most important. Only 14% of all respondents say customer service is most important to them.

 

Q. How influenced are you by reviews of banks found online?

  • 74% of all respondents are somewhat or very influenced by bank reviews they read online.

 

For additional questions about this survey, please contact Wendy Schoenfeld - wschoenfeld@bestcashcow.com.

About BestCashCow

BestCashCow is a comprehensive resource for the best rates on savings accounts, CDs, mortgages, and more. BestCashCow was founded in 2005 and today tracks more than 7,000 FDIC-insured banks, 7,000 credit unions, 130,000 local branches, and more than 2 million local and national rates. BestCashCow provides banks and credits unions direct access to add new products, update rates, and modify listings. By partnering with financial institutions, BestCashCow is able to provide offers and rates not found anywhere else. For more information, visit www.bestcashcow.com.

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