Interest rates recently started to rise sharply. This is
precisely the type of change in conditions that should prompt
consumers to think about changing banks.
There are three pillars to a good banking relationship:
competitive rates, reasonable fees and good service. If any one of
those pillars falters, it's time to reconsider the relationship. As
the era of falling interest rates seems to have ended and a
new era of rising rates
may have just begun, the competitive landscape for interest on CDs,
savings and money market accounts is likely to change in the months
That's a good reason to keep your eyes open for banks that can
offer you more on those accounts.
Triggers for switching banks
Consumers have plenty of choices in banking, but unless
something changes, most people don't want to take the time to shop
constantly for a better deal. It's only when a meaningful change
occurs that people are prompted to look elsewhere. Here are five
triggers that can lead people to
A changing rate environment.
As interest rates start to rise, some banks will lead the trend
while others will lag behind. If you look for a bank that is
leading the trend, your savings accounts and other deposits can
return to normal interest rates more quickly.
The financial and regulatory environments have changed a great
deal, and many banks have responded by altering their fee
structures. Free checking accounts are in the minority, but
they are still available
. So if your bank adds or raises a fee, that should be your cue
to start shopping around for a cheaper place to bank.
As banking becomes more electronic, banks are adapting by closing
their traditional branches. For example, in recent years HSBC has
cut its U.S. locations by nearly half. If your convenient bank
branch is closing, that's a clear reason to look for an
Research by MoneyRates.com found that more than 80 percent of
are satisfied with the service they get from
. If most people are getting decent service, there is no reason
to settle for less.
If you regularly do business on your smartphone or tablet, you'll
want a bank that has moved with the times to provide useful
applications for those devices. As your use of technology
changes, make sure your bank is keeping up -- or else leave it
If you decide to switch banks, don't focus only on the problem
that caused you to leave your current bank. While you will want to
make sure your new bank can do a better job in that problem area,
you will also want to make sure your new bank can live up to the
things your current bank does well. Start by looking at the scope
of your banking needs, and make those needs your key criteria for
choosing a new bank.