Our Relationship With Our Bank

by Kristina on August 18, 2010 · 2 comments

HSBC credit card

If you read my friend J’s finance blog, Budgets Are Sexy,  you will know that he banks with USAA and has for over 10 years.

Up until recently, I have also been with the same financial institution for my entire life. I originally opened a Young Savers account at the branch near my parent’s house in my hometown.  As I moved away to attend university I continued using the same financial institution for my student loans as well as my day to day banking.  However, recently I broke up with my bank and started a new relationship with a new financial institution.  What would make you change financial institutions?

Upon retirement last June, my Dad had a huge falling out with our (former) personal banker at his Credit Union.  Shortly afterwards, he switched all of his accounts, including his mortgage, to a major financial institution.

This was a major financial move for my Dad because he has always been the poster child for anti major corporations and especially financial institutions. If you have read my Dad’s previous comments on this blog you will know that he believes in a personalized service where everyone knows his name.  My Dad does not like anything electronic such as online banking. He feels that telephone banking means he calls his credit union branch directly and asks his favourite teller to pay his bills. My Dad also does not believe in paying fees for every single transaction.

Since my Dad and I have a joint account, and I usually support my Dad’s decisions; I also switched all of my checking, savings, and investment accounts to a new financial institution. I lost a lot of my banking privileges although now I gain movie theatre points every time I swipe my debt or VISA card.

The process of changing financial institutions was not complicated but it was time consuming. I had to visit my new financial institution 3 times in order to fully complete all of my transactions.  I went the first time to open my checking and saving accounts.  The second time I had to go to the branch to sign the transfer form for my retirement savings plan, and account balances from my original financial institution.  The third visit to my new branch was to pick up my new VISA card. They can’t mail the original card to my home address for security purposes. On the third visit I also signed the forms  for the investment options of my new retirement savings plan.

As I have been a client at my original financial institution for over 20 years, the banking benefits at my new financial institution are not the same. The monthly service charges and the transaction fees are pretty much the same but now I don’t get any extras “for being a long time client”.  My daily spending limits, and my ATM withdrawal limits are  lower at my new Financial Institution due to my new banking relationship. Over time as they see that I am financially responsible the limits will get larger and eventually disappear.  As a financial employee I understand this fraud prevention process.

Would you change financial institutions if you received less banking benefits?

(Photo By Dunzki )

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Tim August 18, 2010 at 11:49 pm

yes and no. no simple answer here. i’ve changed my primary bank five times in my life. however, i have never gone cold turkey. i always maintain the other account until I am fully established with the new one. the quality of service and convenience of service is what i look for, not the quantity of services.

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