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Poll: Why Aren’t You Switching Banks?

Nearly 20% of people with checking accounts have considered switching banks over the last year. But more than half of those people never followed through because there were too many barriers to switching.

That’s according to a new survey from Consumers Union, the advocacy group behind Consumer Reports.

Here’s why people didn’t switch:

  • 63% feared it would be difficult to move automatic payments and direct deposits to a new account.
  • 37% said switching banks would take too much time and effort.
  • 28% said they didn’t want to pay fees to transfer their money.

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(Be sure to take our poll on this topic. See below.)
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“Unfair bank practices and rising fees are prompting more and more consumers to consider voting with their feet and taking their money to another bank or credit union,” Suzanne Martindale, staff attorney for Consumers Union, said in a news release. “But many consumers don’t follow through because moving your money takes a lot of time and money and some bank policies make it harder than it should be.”

Among the barriers, according to Consumers Union:

  • It can take four to six weeks to reroute automatic payments and deposits.
  • A number of big banks charge $25 fees to close an account that’s been open less than six months.
  • Several big banks will reopen closed accounts if the bank receives a direct deposit that hasn’t been rerouted.

The group has called on lawmakers and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to enact reforms that would make it easier to switch banks, like requiring same-day electronic fund transfers for free, restricting fees for closing accounts and prohibiting banks from reopening closed accounts.

But I think there’s a larger point missing in all of this. I daydream about switching banks all the time, but I never do it because of the barrier of convenience.

I might hate my bank, but I love how easy it is to use. There’s branches everywhere, and when I can’t get to or don’t need a branch, there’s online banking.

No matter how badly they treat me, I’m going to stay because they make getting and depositing my money too easy.

How about you? Why haven’t you switched banks? Take our poll below.

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Why haven't you switched banks?
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Comments (1)
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One Existing Comment
  1. Mojave Jack said:
    on July 27th at 01:34 pm

    This poll is really nonsense. If you’re going to swith banks:

    You open the new account first.
    Set up your bill pays and direct deposits in the new account.
    Disable your bill pays in the old account.
    Wait to make sure all the changes have successfully been implemented.
    Close out the old account.

    Unless you have an inordinate amount of automatic bill pays and direct deposits, how is this too much trouble if you get a decent bump in interest?

    Most of my bills are paid by a 2% cash back or other points earning credit card which I pay in full every month. No finance charges and a better return than current interest rates. So most of what I have to move are credit cards and 2 direct deposits. If you’re self disciplined, this seems the best way to go.

    And yes, I seem to jump checking accounts every 12-18 months, following the interest or opting for other sign up bonuses like cash back for opening an account and/or trading in old checkbooks. I always opt for no fee checking accounts.