Change your bank was the battle cry of the Occupy Wall Street movement. There was a hope that somehow if a bunch of folks went and changed their banks (especially a bank that was charging ridiculous bank fees) that things might change in the banking world.
Many times I have written about free banking and exorbitant service charges:
- Free Banking, where I outlined my yearly battle with my bank trying to free banking. EQ bank (see ad) is a good choice here.
- In Banking it is All Negotiable which says you should never settle with the first offer from any bank.
- With Changing Banks I pointed out that if you are going to negotiate, you cannot simply bluff,. You are going to need to follow through with your threats, and change banks.
- Finally with The Answer is Always No, unless you ask, is really something your parents told you as a kid, it never hurts to ask, the worst they can say is No.
You Must Be Willing to Change Your Bank
Banks must stop gouging you. You must get them to treat you less like a number and more like a customer. As long as you are a customer in good standing, it would help if you were not treated like it is a privilege to leave your money in the bank (keep that in mind), but also you need to search for banks that give you the services you think are essential. If you do a lot of investing, then the investing portion of the bank needs to have good benefits, and that is just a straightforward example.
My other statement here is that this is not revolutionary or radical. It is common sense. This is not something new from our Occupy Wall Street friends or even the Tea Party. Your parents told you: make sure you pay a fair price for the services you use. Don’t just settle. Ask for something better. The worst thing they can tell you is no.
Damian from Quicken Canada here. Great post. I recently took an extended holiday in South America and was disgusted by the international transaction fees the bank charged every time I withdrew cash. So I called and asked them to remove the fees. They said no – but they did reduce them by %50. So you’re exactly right in that it never hurts to ask. You may not get exactly what you want, but %50 was better than nothing.
Old post but in the U.S., I bank with Charles Schwab. Not withdrawal fees and they return fees charged by other banks for withdrawing money from other ATMs. Also, no international transaction fees.