What does your bank say about you?

by Kristina on July 8, 2013 · 4 comments

Good morning Dinks. We often talk about our financial habits, our past financial mistakes, our personal financial goals and our personal investment strategies – so today let’s discuss the one place that brings all of those subjects together…our bank.

As a former bank branch employee I find the relationships that people have with their banks absolutely fascinating. Some people opened their account at a bank branch because their family also deals there, some people opened their account at a particular bank because it is close to their home or office and some people opened their account at a certain bank based on the referral from a friend.

Why do you deal with your bank?

Maybe it’s because you are conservative. When I was searching for a bank in the U.S. I looked into major banks in the New York City area. After researching Chase, Bank of America and TD Bank I finally decided to open my checking and savings accounts with TD Bank because they have a Canadian counterpart and their fees are very reasonable based on their services. I didn’t search smaller banks or credit unions because I wanted a bank with a historical and national presence. If you are conservative then maybe you feel the same way about having a bank with stability.

Maybe you are frugal and shopped around for the best deal. Some people treat their banking relationship the same way they treat any other purchase, they shop around to get the best deal for their money. Establishing a banking relationship and keeping it for many years is very important for a lot of people, but if you are shopping around for a new bank because you don’t like your current bank then you may be shopping around for the best deal. Maybe you opened a bank account with the bank who is giving a promotional gift or with the bank that has the lowest account fees.

Maybe you belong to a community and opened your account because of a cultural affiliation. If you belong to a neighbourhood association, a worker’s union or a specific community then maybe you opened your account with a bank that offers special banking packages for members of the association. This is very common in cultural neighbourhoods as well as with workers unions such as police, construction workers, doctors and fire fighters.

Maybe you are a loyal client and will never change banks. As a financial planner I had clients who came from several generations of the same family. Sometimes I dealt with the grandparents, parents and kids of the same family. Parents like to open kids accounts for their children and then those children change their accounts to student accounts when they are teenagers and eventually regular checking accounts after they graduate from college and enter the workforce. I have changed my bank account twice in my lifetime and trust me it’s a hassle to contact all my utility companies and employer to give them my new banking information. I definitely understand the reason that people have the same bank account for their entire life.

Why did you choose your bank?

Photo by tax credits

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 John S @ Frugal Rules July 8, 2013 at 10:17 am

I used to work at a bank as well and always thought similar to you in why/how people choose banks. We chose our bank because they have locations in each of the three locations our parents live in. That way, when we visit, we can easily go in to take care of something if we need to. That said, we’re not wed at all to them and would move if need be.

2 Jake @ Common Cents Wealth July 8, 2013 at 1:15 pm

I just recently switched banks so that my wife and I could be on joint accounts. Until then, I had used a local Credit Union because that’s who my mom and dad use. They set me up when I was 16 and that worked all the way until I was 24. Now, our new bank, is a lot more convenient with more ATMs and locations.

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