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Seven reasons to break up with your bank

There are numerous reasons why you may want to leave your current bank.

Although some may argue that it is not easy to break up with your bank, experts are of the opinion that if your bank is not offering impressive services, then you may need to consider stopping banking with it.

Whether for day-to-day banking, savings and retirements, salary collection or other purposes, banks are in the business of customer service. And when your bank is no longer giving you what you need, it may be time to reconsider your relationship.

According to moneycrashers.com, here are seven reasons or instances when you may need to reconsider your banker or financial institution.

  1. When the customer service is poor

Your bank offered perks and a great experience at first, but its customer service has dwindled over the years. You may find that your mega-bank has impersonal service, or that your community bank has poor hours, or that you’re not in love with the branch atmosphere. Whatever the reason, if you feel like your customer service experience is lacking, you may be able to do better.

Some customer service features to look for may include a wide range of customer service hours, both in-person and over the phone, positive face-to-face interactions with employees at the bank, and quick resolution of potential issues (for example, cancelling your payment card when you lose it and promptly sending a new one).

Other are branch amenities, such as the ATMs and branch hours, and a wide range of in-house services, such as ordering cheques, making deposits, checking balance, transfers, and small business banking.

  1. Interest rates are high

Because loans can be cumbersome to refinance, especially with a new institution, you may think it’s easier to just stick with the high rate on your current loan. But if another bank offers a better rate and can save you money, see if your current bank can match the offer. If not, then the extra effort to get a better rate is probably worth it.

  1. When you’re opening a joint account

If you’re getting married, you’ll probably want to open a new account. You and your partner need to do the research to decide which bank to use – and it may not be the institution with which you currently bank. Another bank may serve your needs more effectively.

How to make it right at your current bank: Talk to your partner about the reasons why you should open a joint account at your current bank. If you have several accounts at your current bank and love the customer service, you might be able to stick around. When to move on: If your partner’s bank (or another bank altogether) has better services, products, and amenities (and since you’re opening a new account anyway), it’s a good time to make the switch.

  1. The fees are unforgivably high

Fees are a fact of life with banking. But when fees are unusually high, it should give you pause.

Similarly, banks should not charge unnecessary fees, such as maintenance fees, minimum balance fees, account closure fees, paper statement fees, or a human teller fee. There are plenty of banks that offer all of these services (and more) for free.

  1. You’re moving or changing your location

It is pretty hard to maintain a long-distance relationship with your bank, especially if there isn’t a branch in your new location. When you’re moving, opening a new account is necessary, so don’t feel bad.

  1. Lack of services and features

I fully utilise online banking. My bank has many online features, such as online bill pay, budgeting, and account management. However, a friend’s bank lacks a lot of the online functions that I enjoy. If your bank doesn’t have the features you want (or need) to manage your finances effectively, you may need to explore alternatives.

Online services are a huge selling point. Look for available features such as online account access, account transfers, bill pay and spending reports.

  1. Lack of ATMs, branches

When unaffiliated ATM fees can run as high as N65 after the third withdrawal, the cost of access to bank machines can really add up. I like to make sure my bank has plenty of ATMs – and that I know exactly where to find them.

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