How Do You Switch Banks?

Brent Pittman —  11/10/2011 — 1 Comment

Can banks be large and act small?

We are free! Yes, we’re  finally free of the clutches of yet another bank. We’re one step closer to 100% online banking. Seems we’re not alone in that 8.7% will switch banks this year according to a J.D. Powers study (March 2011).

In this recent study by J.D. Powers it states why people are leaving:

“For customers evaluating and ultimately selecting a new bank, the most important factors driving their decision are advertising; branch convenience; products and services; promotional offers; and direct and indirect customer experience (including past personal interactions, recommendations and bank reputation.)”

We personally choose to leave our brick and mortar bank for several reasons:

  1. Fees for ATM usage and fees for direct downloads in software besides Quicken.
  2. Poor customer service, especially during a recent merger.
  3. Near 0 % interest on our savings account. Seriously I don’t think we earned even a penny on $1000.
  4. Involvement in the mortgage crisis and bailout.
  5. Threat of fees for debit card usage. This was the last straw!

Why did it take us so long to change over to online checking?

Mainly it was the hassle of changing over our direct deposits and automatic withdrawals. It wasn’t really that bad, but it did take several weeks to complete the process.

What did we gain from our online banking account?

  1. No ATM fees.
  2. Great customer service and easy to use online system.
  3. Much better Savings rate and also interest earned for our checking account.
  4. 100% Free checking.

We also took the chance to leave Quicken and start using iBank4 for mac.


Here are the steps we took to change banks:

  1. Opened a new online checking account with small deposit.
  2. Made a list of all our Direct Deposit and automatic withdrawals and began to work down the list; making sure our new checking account always had a positive balance and we didn’t incur any low balance fees with our old bank. This took several weeks as paperwork was lost at one life insurance company.
  3. After we were certain all the changes were complete, we closed the account. It took 7-10 business days and were mailed a cashiers check for the remaining funds.

Have you switched banks recently? What caused you to make the change?

(Photo by GravityX9)

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Brent is a financial coach and writer looking for the perfect donut. He believes personal finance should be both fun and accessible to anyone willing to learn.