According to a recent Consumer Reports study, one in five people has considered changing banks, but the cumbersome process of making the switch held some people back.
“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, the policy and advocacy part of Consumer Reports, said in a prepared statement. “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. We need to make it easier for consumers to switch banks, so they have a real choice when it comes to where to keep their money.”
According to the study and TheFinancialBrand.com, half of the consumers who wanted to change banks didn’t because the process takes too much time and effort.
Details such as getting direct deposit switched to a new bank pose a burden, Keith Sanford, local president of First Tennessee Bank, said.
“You’ve got to remember who takes money out of your account every month [and change that over],” he said.
Any company that is tied to a bank account, such as iTunes or auto payments, must be changed to connect to a new account.
“Any routine transaction, you’ve got to remember to switch,” he said.
He also said that some banks, such as First Tennessee, have “switch kits” to help make it easier on consumers.
“A switch kit [has] forms that help you gather information to switch all those automatic transactions,” he said.