When Your Bank Merges, Sometimes It’s Best To Cash In Yourself

When I moved to my current location, I changed banks. My new bank (formerly Union Trust) is across the street from my work, people there knew my name after I came in only twice, and they offered free online banking. It was one of those perfect relationships.

Main_streetOf course, perfection never lasts. My dream bank has recently merged as more and more banks are tending to do. The new bank (Union Trust, A Division Of Camden National) will now charge me for online banking and laid off a bunch of people who probably knew my name. I’m getting out before my heart is broken… and before I get charged $4 a month for online banking, a service that in my opinion should be free.

I’ve tried to keep my banking local. It seems like a good thing to do to ensure local jobs but as even the small banks become bigger, it makes me wonder if I should go bigger too. Main Street Ellsworth is changing, and I’ll need to change, too.

I’ve heard great things about online banks and a confirmation came yesterday from Kiplinger’s backing up other statements I’ve heard from friends who have gone online. They are paying higher interest rates on checking and savings accounts (some as high as 6%) in addition to offering customers free ATM usage, free online banking, and free checks.

Of course, there is a local bank that many people I know use (Bangor Savings) that has no ATM fees and free online banking.

So the dilemma is to go local or go online. In any case, I need to switch banks again, which is such a pain.

If you have a love or hate relationship with your bank, do tell! Also how do you feel about online banks versus local ones?

Picture from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellsworth,_Maine

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