Putting Clients First
Over the past few years, there has been a lot of talk about how "banks" (funny how they lump all of us together!) are taking advantage of their customers in the wake of increased financial regulations. You don't have to look too hard to find news reports about banks eliminating services, raising fees and closing unprofitable accounts just to improve their bottom line.
In fact, I just recently read a report that said that "banks" are hiking ATM fees to record levels and cutting back on free checking accounts. According to this report, the fee banks charge their own customers to use another bank's ATM rose 11% to $1.57. So for many customers, using an ATM from a competing bank costs over $4, including the fee that the owner of the ATM charges. This is an increase of 7% and is a record amount.
This same report also noted that only 39% of non-interest checking accounts provided by U.S. banks are free of charge to all customers. That's compared to 45% last year and a peak of 76% in 2009.
As a Middleburg Bank client, I hope you know that not all banks treat their customers this way. At Middleburg Bank, we are not going to boost our bottom line by nickel-and-diming our clients. That's why we never charge our clients to use another bank's ATM. And, Hunt Club clients get reimbursed if another bank charges to use their ATM—up to four reimbursements per statement cycle.
A few years ago, during the worst of the economic downturn, we realized that big banks were eliminating their free checking accounts—just when customers needed it most. That's why we introduced our Fox Free Checking account. This account has no minimum balance or direct deposit requirements, the way some other bank's "free checking" accounts do. Plus you get a host of other free services—a Visa debit card, online banking and bill pay, mobile and text banking, e-statements and more.
One other interesting thing I read in that report—the types of cutbacks the big banks are implementing are affecting customer behavior. The report found that 72% of customers would consider switching accounts if their fees were raised—up from 64% last year.
So if you have friends who still bank with one of those big banks and who are tired of seeing their fees being raised or their accounts eliminated, tell them about Middleburg Bank. We promise to treat them right and put their needs before ours.
As always, if you have any suggestions to make your banking experience with Middleburg Bank even better, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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