Survey: Consumers Say Free Checking Is Biggest Reason to Switch (Misc News: November 16, 2010)
Reasons to switch
A recently released survey says free checking is the top reason many respondents give for changing financial institutions
Free checking account 39%
Service quality 35%
Convenient branch locations 29%
NSF service charges 20%
Access to surcharge-free ATMs 19%
Convenient branch hours 19%
Deposit rates 17%
Online banking technology 16%
Large ATM network 16%
Overdraft coverage for checks 14%
Loan rates 14%
Overdraft coverage for ATM/debit 13%
Range of products/services 11%
Mobile banking technology 6%
A free checking account is the top reason consumers choose to switch financial institutions, according to a survey by the Raddon Report.
“Forget about deposit rates, loan rates, NSF fees, online banking, ATM or branch locations,” Raddon says. “Consumers indicated that they don’t care about those things nearly as much as they value their free checking accounts.”
The report illustrates an opportunity for credit unions as banks eliminate truly free checking accounts. Many of the big banks still have “a way to get to get to ‘free,’ ” such as requirements including direct deposit, a minimum number of monthly debit card transactions or a minimum combined balance minimums, Raddon says.
“In many respects, these requirements simply serve as an insurance policy for the institution to protect against the account becoming dormant,” the report says.
The research group, based in Lombard., Ill., did not explain its methodology for the survey or say how many people participated.