Bank ‘Zombie’ Accounts Blasted by Consumers Union
Last fall, 16 secret shoppers visiting branches at some of the nation’s biggest banks found out just how hard it was to close an account.
That’s according to a new report from Consumers Union that examined the account policies and practices for the 10 largest retail banks: Bank of America, BB&T, Chase, Citibank, HSBC, PNC, SunTrust, TD Bank, US Bank and Wells Fargo.
The secret shoppers did not visit credit unions. However, switch kits at cooperatives became very popular in the month leading up to Bank Transfer Day last November. CUNA said 214,000 new members joined credit unions in October 2011. During the third quarter of last year, the industry added 450,000 new members, according to the NCUA. Both CUNA and NAFCU have touted the efficiency and ease of credit union switch kits.
A J.D. Power & Associates study that polled 5,000 customers who shopped for a new financial institution or new account during the past 12 months found that 66% would do so if the process was quicker. Credit unions and small banks beat out larger banks, according to the data.