Aug 19, 2022 / Money Tips
It’s not you, it’s your big bank. You’ve tried hard to have a mutually beneficial banking relationship—one that’s built on respect, trust, and unwavering honesty—but you get the feeling that your big bank just isn’t the best bank for you.
You’ve tried to make things work. You send money, you check in frequently on your phone, you even pop in for the occasional visit. But most of the time, your big bank is too busy to bother, making it hard to feel valued above and beyond the value of your bank balance.
Sound familiar? You might be in a bad banking relationship. Here are a few hallmarks of unhealthy banking relationships, and a few healthier alternatives to keep in mind.
Shared financial responsibility is important in any relationship. Even when there’s a discrepancy in earning power or net worth, sharing financial responsibilities shows respect and a commitment to make the relationship work.
Unfortunately, your big bank has both more money and makes you pay for everything—the double-whammy of financial disrespect. You open an account, you pay a monthly fee. You close an account, you pay a fee. You use your account too much, fee. What’s worse, some of these fees are hidden or disguised as something else.
A healthy banking relationship discloses fees when they’re necessary, and doesn’t charge them when they’re not. Keep track of the number of times your big bank makes you pay for something. You might find it adds up to an expensive, one-sided financial relationship.
Every healthy relationship has some give and take. Bad banking relationships, on the other hand, give a little and take a lot. They hold all the cards and can make you feel surprisingly small when you want something (like a loan) for yourself.
When you need a financial favor, when your financial circumstances are less than fortunate, your bank is reluctant to lend a hand. They point out all your past mistakes and show you the door before you can show them a real need.
A healthy banking relationship works with you to find a loan that right for you. Sure, you’ve made mistakes, but a good financial partner understands that the only way to make up for those mistakes is by giving you another financial chance.
Do you like the personality of your big bank? On a fundamental relationship level, are you a good fit for each other? Do you have shared values and a shared focus on your bright financial future?
Does your big bank invest in your local community? Does your bank communicate with you when they’re not looking for something in return? What about friendly financial advice? Are you getting all this from your big bank?
If you ever feel incompatible with your big bank or credit union, you can find a better financial fit at Utah First. We exist for the sole purpose of serving our members and our communities. That means giving you great rates, fewer fees, and working with you to say “yes,” when other banks say “no.” It means treating you with honesty and respect, while working toward your personal, family, and financial goals.