Go Ahead, Change Your Banks!

in Bank, Bank Fees, Banks, Interest Rates

Do you feel lucky? Well do you punk?

After yesterday’s parting comment about “See if you can find a lower rate somewhere else, we dare you!” caused a good reaction, I figured I’d keep going with a snarky remark theme (with proper reverence to Clint Eastwood/Dirty Harry).

Dirty Harry

Do you feel lucky punk? Well, do ya?


Most banks these days are banking (pun intended) on you not willing to change banks, thus they treat you like cattle (don’t the waiting lines at the bank branches that are still open not remind you of lines in a slaughter-house?). I have talked about this topic ad nauseam, but in case new readers are unaware, your bank does not own you, nor do they own your money, thus you should not feel obligated to stay with a bank, especially if they treat you badly, or give you bad service. This is actually true of all service providing firms (Telephone companies, Restaurants, Grocery stores, etc.,), but acutely more so with banks.

I have changed banks 3 times so far, and have accounts at a few others just in case I feel like changing again, and I have made this approach abundantly clear to my current bank every time I talk with them about a new service, or how they screwed up something else in my financial life.

As I wrote yesterday, TD has decided that they can mess with me, by changing the interest rate on my Line of Credit from being “Prime” plus 0.5% to “Prime” plus 1.0% where they effectively have said, “See if you can find a lower rate somewhere else, we dare you!”. I am pretty sure that if I walked into the BMO branch closer to my house (or the RBC branch even closer), I might get something close if not better (at least in the short-term), but am I willing to roll the dice, and change?

Given the dawn of new web sites that allegedly compare different insurance offerings or cell phone plans, this might be a money-making idea for someone to set up. Have a user input some simple “service needs” statement from a set of menus and then have all the different banks reply with their best offers (might even be funny to make sure the bank they are currently use, knows this customer is looking around). How hard could this be? What would even be more interesting is if someone like PC Financial or ING did this kind of service so that you could see how much you might save using their services?

Anybody who wants to try this, I will gladly kibitz for them (I am not a consultant only a Kibitzer).

Remember, you read this idea here first!

{ 3 comments }

  • Tom Jamieson July 2, 2013, 11:39 AM

    I have to be honest. The thought of changing banks for me is rather daunting. I have been with the same bank for over 15 years. I have nearly all of my bills electronically debited from my account. The thought of having to change all those payments is overwhelming. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here though.

    Reply
  • Nicolas December 10, 2009, 8:40 AM

    Last time I went to the bank to the bank for a line of credit, I was told that I couldn’t get a better deal elsewhere and that I would waste my time looking around.

    I then literally crossed the street to another bank, got offered a better rate, called back the first bank and waved to the first individual while talking to him on the phone.

    He’s been very nice and accommodating ever since.

    You need to be ready to act on your threat of changing bank.

    Reply
    • bigcajunman December 10, 2009, 8:44 AM

      Yes, you cannot play it as a Bluff, you must be ready to follow through.

      Reply

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