Sticking with the Mega-Bank
I’m perplexed by many things in life – one of which is why so many homeowners who were duped or conned by one of the mega-banks continues banking there.
Occasionally I’ll ask a friend or acquaintance where they have their checking account and, with few exceptions, they almost always mention one of the four mega-banks.
When pushed as to the reason why, the answer is generally the same – “I’ve just never wanted to go to the effort of changing banks.”
I find it hard to believe that I’m a member of a very small group that likes to get even as quickly as possible. And by getting even, I’m talking about closing all personal accounts at the mega-bank and moving them to a local community bank or credit union.
I was reminded of the damaged wrought by the mega-banks by this cartoon which appeared in yesterday’s edition of The Sacramento Bee.
In spite of all the damaged inflicted on our economy and millions of its citizens since the housing bubble popped sometime in 2007, the four mega-banks have grown in size while seizing a greater market share.
Sure, over the past four to five years perhaps a million or more consumers have abandoned the mega-banks – seeking refuge in the hands of the nation’s smaller banks and credit unions.
This leaves millions of consumers simply too indifferent or lazy to switch banks.
An interesting number I’ve yet to encounter is the number of consumers still banking with a mega-bank even though the bank has foreclosed on them, has refused a short-sale offer, or is in the process of foreclosing. It must be in the millions.
What will it take for these consumers to switch banks?
Apparently, a vast majority of consumers still believe that closing a checking account at one bank and moving it to another bank or credit union is simply too complicated, too much work, and could result in overdrafts, missed payments, and an assortment of nasty fees.
What I find odd here is that these same folks have no problem going to the agonizing effort of switching cellular phone service and cable TV providers.
Obviously there is a giant opportunity here if only someone could figure out a way to get through to these folks that moving a checking account is easy. Forget the switch kit – apparently it doesn’t work that well.