We’ve always been told to put our money in the bank because it’s safe, convenient, and earns interest. Given the reasons, it’s natural to have some level of trust in your bank. However, you should also be aware that there are limits to the trust you can give to your bank, and knowing those limitations can help you become proactive in securing your finances.
One of the reasons why you may not fully trust your bank is that, like any other business, it’s driven by profit. It will prioritize earning by charging fees for certain services, investing your money, and providing you with a low-interest rate for your savings.
Another reason you may not trust your bank is that financial institutions are vulnerable to cyberattacks, data breaches, and system errors. While banks have security measures to protect your money and information, there is always the risk that it can be compromised.
And although most of these financial institutions are big businesses and regulated by the government, it’s important to remember that they are not perfect. Mistakes can and do happen, leaving you with the responsibility of being vigilant in monitoring your accounts and ensuring that everything is accurate.
Here are some points to consider when thinking about whether or not you can trust your bank:
Transparency: Do you feel your bank is transparent in its policies and practices? Do they proactively and clearly communicate fees, terms, and other important information, or is the information vague? Is the information easily accessible or do you have to dig to find this information?
Customer service: How is the customer service at your bank? Are they easily reachable via phone or email? How fast do they respond? Do they make an effort to understand your concern and help you address it? When going to a branch, do you get serviced immediately or are you 99th in the line? Do they have enough tellers in physical branches?
Responsiveness to changes in the market: Does your bank stay up-to-date with changes in the financial industry and make necessary adjustments to its products and services, or do you feel like they are behind the times? Are their online services adequate, so you don’t have to visit a branch? How is their mobile app? How do they handle queues in their physical branch?
Ethics: Is your bank transparent and truthful in its dealings with customers, shareholders, and regulators? Do they treat all customers equally and fairly without discrimination? Do they admit when they are at fault and accept responsibility?
Security: How does your bank handle security? Do they always get involved in security-related issues? Are they proactive in informing customers on how to secure their accounts? Do they work with relevant government agencies to improve security? Do they keep up with the changing times and adapt new technologies to secure your finances and personal information, such as biometrics and 2FA?
By considering these factors, you can better understand whether you can trust your bank with your money or if you should move it elsewhere.
Overall, while you can have some level of trust in your bank, you should also be aware of the limitations of that trust so you can take the necessary steps and protect yourself. This includes monitoring your accounts regularly, using strong passwords and two-factor authentication, being aware of the fees and terms associated with your account, and educating yourself about cybercrimes to avoid being a victim.