Bank Fees and ATM fees are driving consumers crazy. Ilyce Glink appeared on Morningstar with host Christine Benz and discussed that people underestimate the complications involved in switching financial institutions. Ilyce cautioned viewers: think twice before ditching your bank. 

Major financial institutions like Bank of America, Chase and others have recently backed away from unpopular plans to charge as much as $5 per month to debit card users. The public relations reversal came in the face of large-scale backlash from customers and consumer groups, suggesting the banks failed to do their homework before announcing the account changes.

The nullified plans had many people mad enough to consider ditching their banks in favor of credit unions or other non-profit types of personal finance vendors. While the move may sound attractive to customers in the middle of a troubled economy who feel nickel and dimed to death, I cautioned viewers of Morningstar to stop and consider the potential consequences before making a change.

Here are some things to keep in mind before deciding to jump ship:

  • There is no one solution for everybody – Some people have a lot of cash which allows them to skip fees.  Others have diverse account holdings –  which make them attractive bank customers.
  • Switching banks for business, or even personal reasons, can breed hassles. Changes must be made in automatic debits, bill pay, accounting and payroll systems as well.
  • Consider the ATM fees – While public anger over monthly debit charges are in fashion, ATM fees are at all-time highs. If you switch to a mom and pop branch without a large ATM network, you may end up paying huge surcharges just to get to your cash.
Stay tuned for more personal finance advice from Ilyce Glink on