04 Nov It’s not me, it’s you. It’s time to break up with your bank.
Gone are the days of multi-generational family banking. Where mutual loyalty once reigned supreme, now we see less of our bankers and notice that the name at the bottom of the email changes frequently, and quickly.
Breaking up with your bank is no longer a difficult decision. Previously, staying with your bank was just what you did. You had the same banker; he was probably your parent’s banker too… The bank had all your information, and likely still held your property titles in safe custody. And an overdraft or extension was merely a phone call and push of a few buttons away.
Now It’s taking three months for your loan approval to come through. The person you spoke to at the start of the application is no longer in the role. The application is held up with the mythical beings known as ‘credit’. You’ve been asked for copies of your financials despite providing them for your mandatory quarterly review only weeks ago and now comments are being made about you and your business not fitting within ‘policy’. Sound familiar?
One in 10 consumers have switched credit products in the past year, according to new research, with Millennials and women specifically pouncing on offers from small banks, credit unions and building societies.
The financial landscape is shifting. Traditional, Big 4 financiers are no longer the be all and end all. Alternative funding solutions and smaller transactional finance companies are becoming the new mainstream.
Over the past 12 months, 10% of consumers have switched credit providers, according to the Australian Consumer Credit Pulse 2019 report from Equifax, as once-loyal customers increasingly check out what lenders outside the Big Four banks have to offer.
Is now a good time to consider a switch?
Maybe at one time, your bank fit your needs perfectly. But now you are married, you have a home loan, you’ve started a business and your needs have changed.
With the RBA recently delivering back-to-back rate cuts, there’s no shortage of borrowers who are considering switching things up and no longer following suit. And we don’t mean your banker’s Armani.
In fact, a further 11% of consumers intend to apply for credit in the next three months, says Equifax, and of these, half are looking to switch providers when they make their application.
James Forbes, General Manager, Marketing Services at Equifax, says that over the past 12 months the Big Four banks have ceased to be the first preference for many consumers who are switching credit products.
“Instead, they’re increasingly choosing small banks, credit unions and building societies,” Forbes says.
So what credit products are people switching?
Home loans and credit cards. They’re the big two so far. And, we are increasingly seeing applications from business borrowers who have either had enough of the drama and rigmarole or who have been asked, politely of course, to refinance to another lender. There’s that blasted ‘policy’ issue again.
Who’s switching things up?
According to the report, the younger you are, the more likely you are to switch lenders.
In fact, out of all consumers who switched credit products in the past year, 43% were aged 18-34, and 32% were aged 35-50.
Women are also more likely to switch three or more of their credit products, while men are likely to switch just one or two.
What’s driving the behaviour?
Unsurprisingly, lower costs – including interest rates and fees – were the major consideration for switching across all credit product types, Equifax says.
However, consumers also cite better customer service and brand reputation as important considerations.
“In the wake of the Royal Commission, consumers are increasingly thinking about more than just cost when applying for credit,” says Forbes.
But Breakin’ Up Is Hard To Do. Actually, Neil, it’s not.
Neil Sedaka was wrong. This breakup is an easy one. Once you have decided to make the move, all that’s left is the details.
Plan your rebound.
Work out what you really need from a bank and what you want from a service perspective. It might be things like a 24-hour call centre and the ability to label your account. Or, it could be that you want someone who understands your business and specialises in your industry. Perhaps you want to know what your deposit funds will be funding (is morally ethical lending something you care about?). Or maybe you just want to be able to visit a branch.
Get your new accounts open and start the process of moving things over. If you are a little over trying to get your lending approved through your bank, give us a call instead. We have the experience and the solutions for your needs.
Transfer your debits and credits.
Arrange for your pay to go to your new account and organise a debit card.
Ask your new bank to help you switch your direct debits, they will contact your existing bank to get a list of the past 13 months’ worth of direct debits (gym memberships, car payments, monthly insurance payments etc.) and can help you prepare a standard form to advise your debitors of the new account details.
Next, transfer your ‘Pay Anyone’s’ and BPAY’s. This is a golden opportunity to cull! Then, go through your statements to work out what recurring payments are coming from your debit card (these are different to your direct debit’s) and change these over to your new card.
Tell ‘em it’s over.
It’s painless and impersonal. Don’t feel bad about it, don’t acquiesce to their attempts to retain your business.
The problem’s not you, it’s them.
Keen to pounce?
With the RBA recently delivering back-to-back rate cuts, if you haven’t investigated your refinancing options lately, now might be the time to consider doing so.
Rest assured that we’re following the market closely and will be happy to run you through some mortgage and refinancing options if you’re on the hunt for a new lender.
Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.