A Publication of WTVP

Most of us take our banking relationships for granted—until something goes wrong. While switching banks is easier than ever, it’s important to understand what you want and need from a bank so you don’t end up somewhere else that’s just different, but no better at meeting your needs than where you left.

Below are some tips to help you determine if and when switching banks is the right option for you.

If you’ve had a bad experience at your current bank, tell them about it. You may be amazed at the care and concern they express and the degree to which they will go to mitigate a negative experience. Letting them know you are unhappy gives them a chance to address the issue and take care of you, too. This is, by far, the simplest step you can take prior to switching banks.

Try switching branches. While banks strive for consistency between branches, it doesn’t always happen. If the care you receive at one branch is unsatisfactory, try another branch that is available and convenient for you. Of course, if the new branch is also unresponsive or unable to meet your needs, then it might be time to switch banks.

What if you’re happy with your bank, but you just can’t get what you need there? Again, talk with your banker; let her know your current position and that you’d really rather stay with them, but you will need X, Y and Z to keep you there. If your banker wishes to retain you as a customer—and what bank wouldn’t want to retain a happy customer?—she will do what she can to accommodate you. Additionally, you might consider keeping some of your accounts at the bank you like and seeking any additional products and services you need elsewhere.

If your current bank just doesn’t offer the products, services, or relationships to meet your business or personal needs, it’s helpful to determine exactly what your expectations are. Conduct your banking research from a strong knowledge standpoint. It may seem odd to research banks, but in the end, you are rewarded with a new relationship geared toward your specific wants and needs. And, since all banks are not created equal, it’s important to understand what each can and cannot provide you.

Tips for researching which banks will meet your needs

First of all, what do you want in a bank? Do you need or want a bank that…

Once you know what you want and need, the fun begins! Interview your prospective bankers. Quiz them on their product and service offerings, relative to your banking “wish list.” Observe how they treat their current customers and how you feel at their location. Remember, a bank can be so much more than just a repository for your money. And, if you want more from your bank—it pays to shop until you find the right match. tpw