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Finding a New Bank

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When comparing banks to find the right one to meet your needs, it's important to explore all of your options. Gather information from several different banks and compare the account options that each offers to their interest rates.

Some banks might offer exceptional rates but with relatively few options. Others might have a wide variety of account options but offer horrible interest rates.

First Steps

These steps are the most important when choosing a bank. Following these steps ensures the legitimacy of your bank's transactions and the financial security of the institution. Generally, these steps apply more to online banking, but it's always a good idea to research locally owned banks and new corporate banks as well.

1: Make sure that you confirm the bank's insurance status. Your deposited money should be insured by the government. If a bank has this insurance, it will have an FDIC logo, "Member FDIC", or "FDIC Insured" written on the main page of the website or on their information pamphlet. FDIC is the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. It safeguards the initial $100000 of deposits that are payable in the United States of America . Not all Internet banks are FDIC insured, but many are. The UK , for example, has its own deposit guarantor for banks, but may also be FDIC insured.

2: The next step is to verify the bank's deposit insurance status. Here we will show the example for a US bank. The similar process exists for banks in UK . The FDIC online database lists all FDIC insured banks. This database allows you to search though all FDIC organizations. You can specify such search criteria as the name, city and postal code of the bank. Make sure that the banks that you are considering are on that list. You may also gain additional information about the banks here.

3: The next thing to check when you are looking at different banks is their privacy policies. All banks are required to provide you with the copy of their privacy policy, whether on paper or in online form. This policy will let you know how the bank will use your personal and financial information and how it will protect it. You should look for such things as the statement that this institution will not sell or give your information to anyone.

4: Find out what complaint mechanisms and customer service options are offered. Look for such types of support as the customer service information, the bank's phone number and online chat customer support. The more support offered by the bank, the better.

Interest and Options

Interest rates are going to have the most effect on any type of account that you wish to open. Check to see what rates are being paid for savings and money market accounts, as well as whether or not interest is paid to checking accounts.

Account Options can make your banking experience much simpler. There should be several different options for checking, savings, and other accounts. If a bank only offers very basic services, you might do better elsewhere, unless the interest rates they offer are well above average.

Minor Considerations

Online account access can add a new level of convenience to your banking experience. It enables you to check your balance, transfer funds from one account to another, and even see which cheques have cleared the bank from the privacy of your own home.

Corporate vs. local

Another minor consideration is whether the bank is part of a national or worldwide corporate chain or if it's a locally owned and operated institution.

Corporate chain banks tend to have much more support from their corporate office, but are usually limited in the services and concessions that they can offer without approval from a higher authority. Corporate chains also often offer more ATM access and account options abroad.

Local banks, on the other hand, are usually able to handle most matters in-house, as the owner is usually an individual within the community.

Shopping around

Compare and contrast a variety of bank options so as to find best deal that fits your needs. By taking the time to compare your available options and shop around for the best deal, you're much more likely to find the bank that's going to give you the best experience.

About the Author

John Mussi is the founder of Direct Online Loans who help homeowners find the best available loans via the www.directonlineloans.co.uk website.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2006-07-23 18:00:50 in Legal Articles

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