“Consumers may be fed up with their bank but they can encounter roadblocks that make moving their money a real headache,” said Suzanne Martindale, staff attorney for Consumers Union. “Some bank policies are designed to make it challenging for customers to walk away. That creates customer inertia and stifles competition, making banks less responsive to what consumers need.”
So what do you need to know? First, opening a new account at another financial institution can take time, a few days or even a few weeks. After you transfer direct deposits and automatic payments out of the old account and into the new account, that’s the time to close your old account and move funds into the new one.
That’s where it can get tricky, even for the savviest consumer, says Consumers Union. It reviewed bank policies at the top 10 retail banks in the U.S., along with a survey of banks and a secret shopper investigation, and found a bunch of roadblocks in the process of switching banks. [read]