The consumer banks (ANZ, Westpac, Commonwealth, St George, National) have all figured out the most customers are very loyal and they usually take advantage of this loyalty.
They have learnt that if they get your general banking account then they’ll probably have you as a customer for life with you using other products like home loans, savings accounts, credit cards, personal loans, business accounts etc.
Knowing this they tell customers that it is better to “package” all your banking needs with them in one go and you’ll be better off.
Sadly this is just marketing hype. There are other useful, cheap and excellent options for all your banking and financing needs but the banks know that most people are too frighten to explore them or are too lazy to do so.
So the banks stack on the fees and charges knowing there will be noise but they won’t actually loose customers but instead make more money (think of what’s happened in the last few months with extra fees).
The only way they’ll reduce fees and treat customers with more respect is when we start taking our business elsewhere and reward those businesses who offer us the best product and service.
So explore credit unions for your general banking accounts as well as personal loans.
Talk with an independent accountant about getting the best value car lease.
Talk with the home loan specialists and remember, as your circumstances change you can buy better home loan products too.
Explore credit card/debit card options for cheaper and better products.
Remember – they are all products and services – you as the customer has the power to pick the best one.
I do understand that sometimes life is just too busy to be always looking around for the best products and options but maybe consider improving your banking situation over 12 months and make it a goal for this coming year.
You don’t have to get everything done at once, it is more important to actually get to a good place than to beat yourself up for not getting there.
Remember also that it isn’t the people who work in the bank branches that create the products so they aren’t responsible for crap banking products so be kind to them. 🙂
All the best,