Choosing a Bank to Fit Your Needs


For nearly 200 years, banks across the state have provided Californians with the means to fulfill their dreams. Banks today continue to safeguard your savings and provide assistance in managing your finances.

With the advances in technology and the continued commitment by California bankers, Californians have seen their banking relationship evolve into a convenient and satisfying relationship. Banks have responded to the changing marketplace by offering a wide variety of programs and services to its customers. Whether you are searching for a new bank or evaluating your current banking relationship, considering product, price and service needs can help to identify your “banking personality” and provide a guide when choosing a bank. Following are a few questions that may make your search easier.

  1. What services are you looking for in your banking relationship? Answers may include checking account, savings account, loans, or a variety of services.
  2. How much will you deposit each month and how many checks will you write each month? Determining these things will help you decide the type of account will best suit your needs.
  3. Will you be buying a home or making another large purchase in the near future? Check into the different loan products offered.
  4. Are you saving for your future? In addition to the traditional insured savings products, many banks now offer unconventional savings methods. Check to see if products such as annuities and mutual funds could work for you.
  5. What time is the most convenient for you to complete your banking transactions? Whether you prefer to visit the bank during the working hours or weekend hours, banks offer a variety of times and means for completing your banking business.
  6. Would you rather conduct your banking business on a personal level with a teller or do you prefer the convenience of automated teller machines and other types of electronic services? Banks today offer convenient locations and hours. Whether it is at a teller window or at an ATM, customers have access to banks at most any time.

After evaluating your needs, call or visit several banks near your home or office. Discuss with them what type of products and services you need. Also, talk with friends, neighbors or coworkers about their experiences.

A change in lifestyle may call for a change in services. If you are looking for more in your current banking relationship, talk with your banker. More and more options are being introduced to customers, your bank may have new products and services of which you are unaware. Let the bank know your needs and ask them to design a relationship that better suits your current needs.

Compare fees and prices on services offered at the banks you are considering, as well as how comfortable you feel at each institution. All banks in California are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which means your deposits are protected up to $250,000.