A consulting firm recently button-holed U.S. bank customers as they were leaving branches of major institutions on both coasts and the Midwest. The results of the poll are enough to make a marketing executive weep openly.

Nearly half the customers, average age 42, said it wouldn't take much of an incentive to persuade them to move their business elsewhere. This despite the fact that they'd been with their banks an average of 10 years. And nearly two-thirds said they expected to purchase their next financial service from a company other than their bank.

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