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Michigan Credit Union League Home » Information Services » Publications » News Articles  

Survey: Consumers Say Free Checking Is Biggest Reason to Switch   (Misc News: November 16, 2010)

Reasons to switch
financial institution

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%
Other     5%

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.

 

 
   
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