Breaking up with your bank

By Gerri Willis, personal finance editor


NEW YORK (CNN) -- According to a new study from Forrester Research, some of the nation's biggest banks have some of the worst performance when it comes to customer service.

The research firm asked consumers whether their bank or firm does the best for the customer, not what's best for them.

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Here's a list of the bottom seven:

  • Bank of America
  • Chase
  • Capital One
  • TD Bank/Commerce
  • Citibank
  • HSBC

HSBC told CNN that they "Take customer feedback very seriously and providing superior service to their customers is an essential part of HSBC Bank's core business values." They say they are working with Forrester to fully understand this year's survey results.

Remember that the survey included all sorts of financial institutions -- from banks to insurers, to individual financial advisers.

Here's the list of those financial institutions that scored well:

  • USAA
  • A credit union
  • An independent insurance agent
  • An independent financial adviser
  • AAA
  • State Farm
  • A regional or local bank

So if you want to break up with your bank and switch to a new on, there are some things to keep in mind.

First off, make sure you know the fees your new bank will charge, whether it's a monthly charge for maintaining your checking account or penalty fees for overdrafts

Be sure that your new bank's ATM network is convenient for you.

Next, take extra special care with any automatic transfers or automatic bill payment that you do. It's easy to overdraft your account when switching providers.

And finally, ask for help.

If you're thinking of switching, ask a rival institution what they might do for you to entice you to switch banks.

Some even have 'kits' to help you manage the process more effectively

Talkback: Have you switched banks? To top of page

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