Fed Up With Fees
The recent regulatory changes have caused many banks to raise fees, impose new ones and eliminate services, all in an attempt to bolster their bottom line. Some banks are now charging for online banking, others have imposed a fee if a customer visits a teller to make a deposit or withdrawal and one big bank is even charging customers to make a fund transfer by phone.
On top of these new charges, many of the larger banks are finding other, more insidious ways to squeeze more money from their current customers. For example:
- Free checking is getting harder to find as banks want customers to keep large balances or pay hefty monthly fees. Now only 39% of big banks offer free checking, down from 64% just last year.
- The fees banks are charging their own customers when they use another bank's ATM have increased to as much as $3, up from $1.25 in 2007 (and that's on top of what the owner of the ATM charges.)
Unlike some other banks, you won't see us trying to improve our bottom line by sticking it to our clients through onerous charges and fees. When you bank with us, you don't pay a fee to use a Middleburg Bank debit card, pay a bill online, talk to a representative or make a deposit or withdrawal in one of our offices. And you can continue to count on us to provide the services you want and need - like Free Checking - that make it easier and more affordable to manage your financial life.
Over the past year, we have seen many new clients come to Middleburg Bank from our much-larger competitors. Many have chosen to bank with us because of the exceptional personal service we deliver. Others are with us due to our fair and straightforward approach to pricing our services. And still others are here because of our commitment to our local communities. All of these reasons help explain why our retention rate among current clients significantly exceeds the industry average.
To all of our clients - new and old - I thank you for the trust you have placed in Middleburg Bank.
In last month's column, I told you how the changes in the banking industry have diminished people's satisfaction with their bank. In fact, only 37% of Americans are satisfied with their financial institutions and, among customers of the three biggest banks in the nation, just 27% are happy.
I'm happy to report that the satisfaction level among Middleburg Bank clients is far greater than the national average. Among those clients who responded to our survey in last month's newsletter, 81.4% said they are "very satisfied" with Middleburg Bank.
It's gratifying to see that our efforts on your behalf are contributing to this high level of client satisfaction. You have my commitment that all of us at Middleburg Bank will work hard every day to continue to deliver the best banking experience possible.
I hope you have a great November and, if you have any suggestions that would make your banking experience with Middleburg Bank even better, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.