Shaky Banking Habits Linked to Consumers’ Frustrations with Banks

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A new survey from reveals that consumers who don’t manage their bank accounts carefully experience a significantly more acrimonious relationship with their banks than other consumers do and are much more likely to switch banks frequently.

Regular overdrafts are an expensive habit. They cost time as well as money. People who overdraft their accounts regularly seem to be the same people who are always arguing with their banks and frequently going through the hassle of changing banks.

Consumers who fail to regularly monitor their banking records or frequently overdraw their checking accounts are far more likely to endure a dissonant – and brief – relationship with their bank, according to a new survey from

The survey asked respondents about how they manage their banking affairs and how frequently they experience disagreements with their bank or switch banks because of disputes. Among those who practice questionable banking habits, such as the group who report overdrawing their checking account more than 12 times per year, the frequency of disagreements with banks was very high: Eighty-six percent of that group report having multiple disputes with their bank each year, and one-third of the respondents in this group say they have disagreements with their bank every week.

Richard Barrington, senior financial analyst for, says that the increased tension these consumers experience at their banks is an unfortunate side effect of an already costly pattern.

“Regular overdrafts are an expensive habit,” says Barrington. “They will cost you time as well as money. People who overdraft their accounts regularly seem to be the same people who are always arguing with their banks and frequently going through the hassle of changing banks.”

Customers who report more diligent banking habits are far less likely to say they have regular disputes with their banks. Of the respondents who report reviewing their account at least every month, 72 percent say they rarely have disputes with their banks. Eighty-nine percent of that group have left no more than two banks in the past over dissatisfaction or disputes.

Not surprisingly, the respondents who report few overdrafts also tended to be good record-keepers too. Eight-six percent of those who said they never overdraw their account also report reviewing or balancing their account on at least a monthly basis.

Barrington says that ultimately the effort to maintain good banking habits isn’t to keep your bank happy – it’s to simplify your own life and keep your banking costs at a minimum.

“Good banking habits will make things go more smoothly at your bank,” says Barrington. “You shouldn’t do that for your bank’s sake, but you should do it for your own. Banking is cheaper and easier that way.”


This poll surveyed 2,000 U.S. adults with an even split between men and women. It was conducted in June 2014 by Op4G for

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