Are all Banks Basically the Same?

It can be easy to think that all banks are basically the same and therefore it does not really matter who you bank with because it will make no difference at all. However, this is something which you should investigate first as you may find that it is not the case. There could be quite a few differences between them.

Cost

It is good to think about the cost of the banks as these will differ. When you are looking for a specific product, then comparing what the different banks are charging or offering can be very worthwhile. For example, if you are looking for a savings accounts then it is good to compare the interest rates to see which will pay you the most. If you are looking to borrow money then you will need to look at what they will charge for the loan so that you can decide which you think will be the cheapest. Obviously, cost is not everything, but it is a big factor. You do not want to pay more than necessary for things. Obviously, if you choose a cheap item it could mean that you will not be getting good service, but you might be prepared to have a worse service and pay less. You may even find that you can pay less for some items and have a better service anyway.

Terms

You will find that the terms and conditions of the products will vary quite a bit and this is something worth looking in to as well. You want to make sure that you are getting what you want out of the product that you are taking on and that you are sure about how it will work. You will find that they will vary. Things as simple as whether the interest rate is fixed or whether it is variable and change can be very important and is something that will vary between different banks. You may also find that if you take out a loan, the way it has to be repaid may vary with perhaps a different amount of repayments at a different value and you will need to find one that you can manage.

Customer Service

The way customers get treated is very important to some people but perhaps not so important to others. It is good to think about how you feel about this as it will change depending on the bank that you use. Many will have a branch and you can judge by how the staff are there. Some will have a call centre and you can call them up or contact them online to see how well they respond. It is good to find out before you use them as that will give you some idea as to what they will be like to deal with and whether you think that you will like dealing with them or not.

Location

The location of the bank could be important to you. If you like to visit a branch then you will need to find one that has a branch local to you. You will find that there are some banks that do not have any branches and that deal solely online. You will need to think about which is important to you. It might be that you will prefer to deal online anyway but it may be that you want to find a bank that will be there nearby in case you need to go in.

These are just a few possible differences that you will need to consider when you are thinking about which bank to choose and you will find that they vary a lot in what they offer. 

Should I Have all my Finance with the Same Bank?

It can often be the case that some people will always shave all of their finances with the same bank They may have a current account, mortgage, savings account, credit card and loans always form the same bank. Other people though, might have them with lots of different banks. It is a good idea to think about the pros and cons of each so that you can decide which might be the best approach for you.

Advantages of Sticking with the Same Bank

If you take out a new product, say a savings account, with a bank that you are already with, then it will be easier. They will not need to carry out a credit check and so you will be able to get the product more quickly. As you are already a customer, they will have all of the information that they need already. They will also know your credit history and things like that and so if you want a loan, for example, it is possible that they may be more likely to give you one. However, this may still depend on your credit record and borrowing history.

If you like to go in to the local branch, then you will only need to go to one place if all of your items are with the same place. You will not need to visit lots of different buildings, which might even be in different towns. You may prefer to bank online and this will also be more convenient if you have everything with the same place. You will be able to set up one login and then use it to access all of the information about all of your accounts. This will be more convenient than having lots of accounts with different websites to go to and different passwords and having to check all of them.

You will also know what the bank is like. It is likely that you like them or else you would not still be sticking with them and therefore you will be happy to use them and know that you will be getting a good service from them.

Advantages of Having More than One

By sticking with the same bank, it is very likely that you are missing out. It is likely that there will be accounts that offer better value for money than the ones that you have. You will find that there are probably places that offer cheaper loans, savings accounts with more interest and things like this. This means that you could be spending less and getting more money back than you are at the moment.

Just because you are happy with the service that you bank provides, it does not mean that there is not a bank that will offer even better. Without trying anyone else you have nothing to compare your experience with and so you could find that you are actually missing out and there are much better options available for you.

There is also some protection for your savings, but only up to a certain level. If you are with a bank that goes bankrupt, then you will get some money repaid form any savings that you have with them. However, this is only up to a certain level and so if your spread your savings across different banks then this will lower the risk that you will lose so much of it. The level is quite high at £85,000 but if you have a lot of money saved, then this could impact you and so it is worth bearing in mind as you may want to spread it out.