Choosing a bank is an important decision, particularly in the ever-changing financial landscape. LMCLS Relationship Manager, Shahrzad Pantera, shares’ her best practices and strategies, particularly for the next generation of youth who will encounter this important decision.
Op-Ed Written by
I am happy to continue my “Youth Financial Literacy Series”.
This time we dive into the topic of choosing a bank.
In today’s ever-changing financial banking market, it is imperative to equip our youth with the knowledge and skills necessary to make informed decisions about their banking needs. This enables them to reach the financial goals they have set, some of which we covered in our last article.
Deciding which bank to build a relationship with, involves the significant task of establishing a connection with a banker. It is imperative to choose someone who will take the time to understand the individual’s financial needs and goals, and to make sure the bank chosen aligns with these objectives. Whether it’s saving for a major purchase, investing for the future, or starting a business, a supportive banker who takes the time to understand each individual’s goals, can provide tailored advice and suitable financial products and services.
Choosing a bank is an important decision. By taking the time to compare options, you can find a bank that meets your needs and provides you with the best possible service.
Here are some best practices in choosing a bank:
- Consider your needs. What are your banking needs? Do you need a bank with a lot of branches and ATMs? Do you need a bank with online and mobile banking capabilities? Do you need a bank that offers a variety of financial products and services? Once you know your needs, you can start to narrow down your choices.
- Compare fees. Banks charge a variety of fees, including account maintenance fees, ATM fees, and overdraft fees. Be sure to compare the fees charged by different banks before you make a decision.
- Read reviews. Read online reviews of different banks to get a sense of what other customers have experienced. This can help you identify banks with good customer service and a reputation for being trustworthy.
- Visit a branch. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, visit a local branch of each bank to get a feel for the staff you will be working with. This can help you decide which bank is the best fit for you.
Here are some additional factors to consider when choosing a bank:
- Interest rates. If you plan to keep your money in savings, you’ll want to choose a bank that offers competitive interest rates. On the flip side, if you plan on borrowing, it is important to compare the interest rate that banks charge.
- ATM network. If you travel frequently, you’ll want to choose a bank that has an extensive ATM network.
- Customer service. When you need help, you want to be able to get it quickly and easily. Choose a bank with a good reputation for customer service.
- Security. You want to be confident that your money is safe. Choose a bank that has a strong security record.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you’re not sure about something, ask a bank representative.
- Be prepared to switch banks. If you’re not happy with your current bank, don’t be afraid to switch. There are many great banks out there, and you’re sure to find one that’s a better fit for you.
The Bottom Line
The process of choosing a bank is not just about finding a place to store your money; it’s about finding a partner who will support you on your financial journey, understand your needs, and provide the services and guidance you require. Having the right bank by your side will help you to confidently navigate the ever-changing financial landscape and make strides towards achieving your financial goals.