Is bigger always better? For many things in life, the answer is probably yes. But not so much when you’re talking about switching banks. 66% of people would rather bank at a community bank or credit union - this includes 59% of people already doing business with a megabank, according to the 2015 Consumer Banking Insights Study.
The good news: it pays to switch to a community financial institution.
Smaller, community banks and credit unions have a lot going for them. If you’ve ever thought of switching from your national megabank to a neighborhood financial institution, here are the top six reasons why it pays to switch:
1. More personal service
This one is no surprise; community banks and credit unions are known for their customer service. In fact, 64% of people surveyed in the Consumer Banking Insights Study believe community banks and credit unions provide better personal service in any kind of interaction — be it face-to-face, over the phone, or online — than big national banks.
2. Same products and services, only better
Community banks and credit unions offer the same financial products (loans, savings and checking accounts, etc.) and services (free checking, online bill pay, direct deposit, mobile banking, etc.) as megabanks. The difference, however, is that if you have a question about any of those products or services, a community bank or credit union will give you more personalized service.
3. Better rates, fewer fees
Poor interest rates and high fees are among the things people dislike most about banks. These are typically associated with megabanks more so than community banks or credit unions. In fact, 63% of community banks and 60% of credit unions provide free checking, whereas less than a quarter (24%) of big banks offer completely free checking, and 59% offer it if you have direct deposit into the account, according to a study by U.S. PIRG.
4. A real partnership
You don’t just want your bank to be a place where you park your money: you want it to be your partner in putting your money to work for you. Community banks and credit unions see themselves as your partner in managing your finances. The majority of local bank customers agree; 70% of community bank and credit union account holders say they see their financial institutions as partners, whereas just 57% of megabank customers feel that way, the Consumer Banking Insights Study found.
5. Reinvesting in the community
More than half of all small business loans under $1 million come from community banks, according to Independent Community Bankers of America.Small businesses are the backbone of the nation’s economy, and owned and operated by people who are your friends and neighbors. When you bank with a community bank or credit union, your money helps support and grow your local economy.
6. Switching is easier than you think
No doubt about it, switching banks can be a hassle — and you’re less likely to get help with the process when you're switching from one big bank to another. Switching to a community bank or credit union, however, doesn’t have to be difficult. Although six out of 10 people who have never switched banks think it would be difficult to do so, a whopping 81% of people who actually switched said it wasn’t difficult at all, according to the Consumer Banking Insights Study. If you want to switch your accounts to a community bank or credit union, getting help is as easy as picking up the phone.
Check out our recent blog, 7 easy steps to move your money.
Switching banks to a local community bank or credit union can be a great way to get the personalized service and better rates you crave, without giving up the products and services you need. Visit DepositAccounts.com to research checking accounts at financial institutions in your community.