Checking account fees may help banks pad revenue, but a new survey suggests that ATM and overdraft charges can send customers running.
Over a third of Americans said they would be very or extremely likely to switch banks to avoid paying fees on their checking accounts, according to TD Bank's inaugural survey of more than 3,000 consumers. In fact, 14% of respondents have already moved their business for those reasons.
Some types of charges aggravate customers more than others; 38% of respondents said that nonbank ATM fees were the most frustrating type of charge. Another 27% awarded that dubious honor to overdraft charges. Just 13% picked minimum balance fees as the most annoying type of charge.
Bostonians were more fee-averse than any other geographical group, with 51% declaring that they would switch banks to escape them. New Yorkers reported the highest average minimum balance of $1,260, compared to a national average of $950.
While fees rattled some consumers, most gave high marks to their banks for customer service, convenience and accessibility. The vast majority, at 83%, commended their banks' friendly and helpful customer service. Over two-thirds of respondents expressed satisfaction with convenient branch and ATM locations, and 74% rated banking hours as excellent or very good.
TD Bank's survey also found that customers increasingly bank online. Of an average 15 banking transactions per month, six took place via online banking. Customers went to ATMs an average of 3.2 times a month and set foot in branches 2.3 times. Mobile banking, used for an average 1.5 times per month, remains an up-and-coming platform. Although nearly 30% of customers used a mobile banking application, just 5% said they preferred it.