The recession’s overall affect
Consumers who have mortgage and personal loans are voicing their displeasure with big banks. Now that the economy is on the mend, consumers are reflecting on what really happened to turn their financial lives around. Millions of Americans lost their jobs. Millions saw their home value decline. Thousands lost their homes to foreclosure. Even if consumers didn’t feel the recession themselves, most likely someone close to them suffered greatly. The realities of the recession are weighing heavy on the minds of Americans now that they have a chance to sit back and reflect.
Big banks take the blame
Consumers are targeting the big banks and their mistakes in the economy. Banks took federal bailout dollars, and the purpose of the funds was to avoid collapse. In turn, they gave top executives huge bonuses. Public perception is that they had no right to offer the bonuses, and executives had no right to take them. Due to the huge amount of financial problems consumers went through, watching big banks make moves to reward executives is now hard to stomach.
In the media there are thousands of Americans who are writing to the Better Business Bureau with complaints about banking policies that are unfair. One Bank of America customer noted how his Visa bill stopped going to his home. He struggled for over six months to rectify the problem with the branch, and although each time he left he was assured the problem was fixed, he continued to go without his bill. Finally the bank found out his bill for some reason was going to Afghanistan. No one knows why and the result was eleven overdraft fees over the course of just two days. This is just one of the many stories of consumers who wanted to give their big banks a chance after the recession and were let down by performance.
What the crux of the issue is
Studies are showing that the crux of the issue is the decline of the personal banker. Many consumers remember how simple it was to open new accounts, take out personal loans and manage savings at their local branch. They went in to discuss their needs and a personal banker gave them the right banking products for their needs. Now things are different. In today’s banking world, often times the turnover is high. That means a consumer may talk to a different person every time they go into a branch. For every situation they have to bring the new employee up to speed on who they are, what they want, and what has been used to fix issues in the past. On top of the added stress of explanations, they are seeing fees getting bigger. Lowering customer service aptitude and raising costs doesn’t make sense to many consumers.
Fees and bad borrowers
Another criticism consumers have with banks is that they no longer turn away those defined as “bad” customers. Banks instead prefer to hold onto their bed debt borrowers in an effort to raise fees and heighten interest rates. Though the practice brings in millions of dollars, it isn’t making banks look good in the eyes of the consumer public. Again, public perception is a huge issue in the world of banking, and without some serious changes, that perception will continue to decline.
Consumers voice their opinions
Banks holding mortgage and personal loans are under criticism. Consumers are regrouping and starting to piece together where the blame lies in terms of banking procedures. Many people are disappointed with banks and becoming vocal about what they want and what they aren’t getting from their financial institutions. Hopefully, in the future, banks will turn their procedures around and once again start serving the customer.