There are many banks around and it can be difficult sometimes having the confidence to move to a new one. We may realise that it could be in our interest to swap banks to one that perhaps charges less money for its loans or pays more interest. However, we can often have low confidence when choosing them because we do not know what will be the best way to pick between them. We have therefore got together a list of things that you should think about when you are picking a new bank.
A good place to start is to think about the costs of the accounts. If you are likely to want to borrow money via a short term loan or have an overdraft, for example, then you need to look at these costs and decide what to do about them. It is not always easy to compare them, but you should be able to take a look at their websites and find out what their overdraft percentage is as well as what sorts of loans they offer and at what interest. Loans may have other additional costs too which you need to look for.
If you are looking to save money then you will want to compare the interest on the savings accounts. Make sure you compare like for like accounts though. An instant access savings account will not pay as much interest as a fixed rate bond, for example, so you need to check that and ensure that you are comparing the same sorts of accounts with the same benefits. It is a good idea to compare them though as you could find that there will be a big difference between them with regards to the amount of interest that you will get from them.
It might be that you are interested in the reputation of a bank. You might want to check that you will be able to trust them, that people you know will recommend them, that they good reviews, that you have heard of them or that they treat their customers well. This is something which could make a big difference to your experience of using the bank and you could really want to make sure that you feel they have a good reputation before you use them. You will have to do research, by asking people you know, reading online reviews, looking at their website etc to find out more about them so that you can make this decision.
Branches vs telephone / online banking
You also need to think about how you normally do business with a bank. If you like to go into a branch then it will be important to find out where the nearest one is. If you like to bank online, then you will need to make sure that this is a service that is available, likewise if you like to be able to speak to someone on the telephone you will need to check that this is something that you will be able to do.
Customer service is important to many people as well. They want to be able to easily get in touch with their bank and speak to them about any concerns that they have without worrying about how polite and friendly they will be, whether they will be able to help etc. Some people do not like having to wait a long time to be able to speak to someone. So, you may need to contact the customer services department and see how they are so that you can judge for yourself as to whether they meet your expectations.