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Finding The Bank That Is Right For You

Aug 17, 2007
Finding the right bank for your needs can be a tough decision, but it is important that you choose the right establishment to handle your money. Choosing the wrong bank can cost you time and money, and although choosing your nearest bank might seem convenient, you could be missing out on the best deals.

Different types of banks

Although there might seem like there is a limited choice, if you are looking for a simple bank account then there are a large number of institutions that you can look at. As well as traditional banks there commercial banks, credit unions, private banks and online banks but to name a few. You should look at all these options to make sure that you get the best deal to suit your needs.

Service features

The first thing you need to consider when choosing a bank is what sort of service features you are looking for. You need to determine your needs and then compare these with the list of products that a particular bank offers. If you are in the market for a simple checking or savings account then there are likely to be a lot of potential candidates. However, if you are looking for something more specific then there might only be a few likely sources. You need to look at the level of service the organisation can provide and whether this meets your needs.

Convenience

Although automatically choosing your nearest bank isn't always the best option, convenience is a factor to take into consideration. If you need to use branch services then you need to consider how close the nearest branch is to your home or place or work. You also need to look at whether they offer online or telephone services, and what their hours of work are. You may find a bank with great services, but if the branch is 20 miles away and they are rarely open then you won't benefit from these services.

Size

Banks and financial institutions greatly vary in size, so you need to consider what sort of bank you want to use. If you want to use a small banking corporation that offers more personal service, then you might have to sacrifice cheaper rates. You should compare the costs and levels of service in the small and large banks in your area to determine the best balance for you.

Fees and rates

Perhaps the most important aspect when looking for a bank is how high their fees and rates are. Many banks are similar in terms of products offered and service levels, and most of the major chains will have a branch near you. However, the thing that might separate the winner from the loser is the rates and fees they can offer you. If you are looking for a particular account or product, look at the costs for each bank. If everything else is equal, then go for the bank with the lowest fees and rates. Banking is all about saving yourself time and money, so the bank with the best rates and a good service level is usually the best choice.
About the Author
Peter Kenny is a writer for The Thrifty Scot.
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