After 14 years of an at times difficult relationship, I found it was time to walk away.
My reasoning was sound and when I said to them, “it’s not you, it’s me”, I genuinely meant it. I needed more from the relationship than I was getting – I needed someone who understood me.
When the response was “but we‘ve been together from the start”, and, “we have always been there for you”, I knew this was going to be a tough breakup, and I quickly found myself gripped by feelings of guilt.
Despite this, I knew I had to be strong and say good bye. Whilst it was not easy, it was exactly what I did. I closed all my accounts with my long term and moved to a cross town rival.
Given someone with my years of experience in financial advice, I thought I’d find switching banks easy, but it was actually a really challenging process, and it made me think how hard it must be for those outside of the finance industry to switch.
Australians are generally loyal and the banks have taken advantage of this, relying upon our complacency that sees us keep our savings, mortgages and credit cards with the one institution, ignoring the opportunities that are out there for a better deal.
We’ve all heard the term the “banks are bastards”, and whilst there may be an element of truth in that description, the underlying fact is that if we want to see banks behave better towards us, then it’s up to us to become more attractive to the banks.
How To Avoid Switching Banks
If we are more desirable as a customer to them, then we can expect that in turn the bank will lose their bastardry and be far more accommodating to win us over.
So how do we do this? How can we turn our relationship with our banks around and get the best deal?
The most important thing you can do is to be seen as valuable to a bank, and that may mean making changes to your finances to become the kind of customer the banks crave.
The first step is to get your ‘house in order’. This means:
- Become a proven saver by setting up a savings plan and following it for at least 6-months
- Reduce your unsecured debt levels by either cancelling or greatly reducing your credit limits on your credit and store cards
- The second step is be well researched and prepared for your discussion by:
- Seeking out better offers from rival banks
- And being prepared to walk if the bank won’t come to the party
Negotiating With Your Bank
As anyone who has ever had a shopping trip to Bali will tell you, the negotiating really begins once you start walking away. If you’re a customer your bank wants to keep, being willing to walk away and playing on the competition between the suitors can be the key to getting the deal you want.
For further advice on whether or not switching banks is right for you, or getting in place the right financial plan for you, get in touch with one of Rising Tide’s friendly financial advisers by calling 03 9600 2124 today.