Signs it might be time to leave your bank

You might be a loyal banking customer and that’s okay, but if you’ve been unsettled by changes happening at your banking institution it might be time to bite the bullet.

There’s no real harm in leaving your bank, but here are some signs you might want to look out for just in case you’re giving making the switch some thought.

1. Fees keep rising

It happens gradually but if your bank has started charging you fees for services that once did not incur them, you might want to start looking at just how much of your savings are being eaten away. Such fees have a habit of adding up over time.

Banks usually let you know about any new fees they are applying to your account and they should send you a fee schedule, however you shouldn’t have to work to crappy bank policies if better opportunities are out there.

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If you think you’re been slapped with more fees that funds in your account, it might be time to consider making a move to a bank who is going to work in your favour.

2. There’s little or no customer service

Customer service in any industry is crucial, so when it’s bad — or worse, non-existent — you have a real problem on your hands. If you have a question or concern about your account you want the comfort of knowing your bank is on your side.

“My husband and I had been trying to discuss the terms of our home loan with our bank for some months, always told that someone would call us back.” Evelyn says. “We became so fed up with waiting for that call we contacted another bank to discuss options and rates. When we told our bank we were moving we were inundated with phone calls and letters regarding our initial enquiry, but it was too late.”

You want your bank to make it easy for you to a. find their customer service information; b. actually talk with a bank representative and c. address your enquiry clearly and efficiently.

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3. Online options are lacking

A lot of banks pride themselves on the quality and diversity of their online services therefore you want the following to be made available to you online or via an app:

  • bill payments (and without a fee)
  • money transfers between accounts and to other banks
  • communicating with a representative
  • ordering new cheques
  • depositing cheques.

While a lack of online facilities doesn’t necessarily mean your bank is doing something wrong, if you rate convenience high on your ‘must haves’ for the bank, there are plenty of banks that make it easy to avoid going to a local branch.

What to look for when choosing a new bank

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It’s important you do some research when you make the decision to change banks. Besides low or no fees, you want to consider what sort of ATM access is available (and if it’s free), what convenience there is for online services, nearby locations for ATMs and branches, and any other benefits.

Once you’ve got your shortlist of priorities, you can set about making the right decision for your needs.

Be sure to read the fine print so that you don’t miss any of the fees the bank will charge you. If there are minimum bank balances for example, make sure this is something you are comfortable with and know you can adhere to.

Do your homework when it comes to transaction limits too. Some banks will only let you carry out a certain number of transactions before they start charging you.

By taking the time and doing research on all the different arrangements available to you, you can make an informed decision and find a bank that is really going to suit your needs.

Have you ever changed banks? What factors prompted you to take action?

Important information: The information provided on this website is of a general nature and for information purposes only. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It is not financial product advice and must not be relied upon as such. Before making any financial decision you should determine whether the information is appropriate in terms of your particular circumstances and seek advice from an independent licensed financial services professional.