Chris happened to live in Minnesota when he opened his first bank account at age 18, and went with Wells Fargo. They were everywhere, convenient, and the rest of his family were all signing up with them too. Shrug – why not? He stuck with them for more than a decade. He moved around the continent and a lot of things changed through his twenties, but his Wells Fargo account was a constant. Sometimes it was a little inconvenient, but he stuck with them out of habit. Until his balance fell low enough that they began charging him fees for the privilege of being their customer. It took him less than an hour to switch everything over to a local bank that isn’t fee-happy. Why, he wonders, did he stick with Big Stagecoach for so long?
Last month, the Huffington Post launched a campaign called Move Your Money that urged people to support community banks. The idea is that by moving your money to a community bank, you can help put the “too big to fail” banks on a diet so that they get smaller, while at the same time help a local bank remain competitive. The NPR program All Things Considered took a look at the campaign over the weekend, and talked to some experts about whether it’s worth making the switch.