Consumers Outsmart Bank Fees, ABA Survey Finds
WASHINGTON-"Consumers aren't given the credit they deserve," according to American Bankers Association Senior Federal Counsel Nessa Feddis, when it comes to making the right banking choices. A recent ABA-sponsored survey of 1,000 consumers (conducted July 23-24 by Ipsos Reid) found that the majority (65%) spends $3 or less in monthly fees for banking services such as checking account maintenance and ATM access, which is consistent with the findings of previous ABA surveys conducted from 1998-2005.. Also, nearly half of respondents labeled banks as the most trustworthy with their personal financial information. Fourteen percent trust the stock brokerage and mutual funds industry the most, while 12% trust the real estate industry most and 9% put their confidence in the insurance industry. Retailers and online merchants garnered 2% and 1%, respectively. A full 13% said they do not trust any industry. Based on a news release, there was no mention of credit unions as an option for this question, but no one from ABA was immediately available for comment. Additionally, the survey found that a large portion of consumers surveyed (42%) pay off their credit card balances each month. Another third carry a balance but pay more than the minimum required, while 6% occasionally make minimum payments. According to ABA, just 4% only pay the minimum each month. "The survey shows that, contrary to popular opinion, consumers manage debt well, avoid fees and trust their banks," Feddis commented. The study also looked at debit card usage. Nearly half of consumers chose plastic over paper for everyday purchases. Thirty-one percent paid with debit cards and 18% with credit cards. Cash was preferred by 37%, while another 14% said they still use checks. Forty-six percent used debit cards over checks for speed and convenience, and 38% preferred debit cards to credit cards.