64 Percent of Americans Would Rather Switch Banks Than Pay Higher Fees

New Bankrate poll reveals how consumers feel about their finances

Mar 21, 2011, 07:30 ET from Bankrate, Inc.

NEW YORK, March 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- With analysts speculating that checking fees may soar, consumers face big decisions ahead.  This month's Financial Security Index, released by Bankrate Inc., shows that nearly two-thirds of Americans say they would bolt over increased bank fees. The poll, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, can be seen in its entirety here: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/consumer-index/march-2011-financial-security-poll.aspx.

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Among the findings:

  • At 75 percent, adults making $75,000 or more per year, were most likely to consider moving their accounts;
  • Nearly three out of four people, or 71 percent, under the age of 30 would choose a new financial institution if prices rose;
  • In addition to concern over increased fees, Americans feel less secure with their overall finances for the second consecutive month;
  • Savings continue to be the Achilles' heel of financial security.

"In these economic times, Americans are particularly sensitive to higher bank fees, with 64 percent saying they would consider switching to a different financial institution if their checking account fees increased," says Greg McBride, CFA, senior financial analyst for Bankrate.com. "Every dollar counts and consumers that are willing to pursue the best returns on their money are a step closer to achieving financial security."

Bankrate's Financial Security Index results are based on telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,006 adults living in continental US. The interviews were conducted from March 3 to March 6, 2011, by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is + or - 3.7 percentage points.

About Bankrate, Inc.

The Bankrate network of companies includes Bankrate.com, Interest.com, Mortgage-calc.com, Nationwide Card Services, Fee Disclosure, InsureMe CreditCardGuide.com and Bankaholic. Each of these businesses helps consumers to make informed decisions about their personal finance matters. The company's flagship brand, Bankrate.com is a destination site of personal finance channels, including banking, investing, taxes, debt management and college finance. Bankrate.com is the leading aggregator of rates and other information on more than 300 financial products, including mortgages, credit cards, new and used auto loans, money market accounts and CDs, checking and ATM fees, home equity loans and online banking fees. Bankrate.com reviews more than 4,800 financial institutions in 575 markets in 50 states. In 2008, Bankrate.com had nearly 72 million unique visitors. Bankrate.com provides financial applications and information to a network of more than 75 partners, including Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO), America Online (NYSE: TWX), The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times (NYSE: NYT). Bankrate.com's information is also distributed through more than 500 newspapers. Bankrate, Inc. was acquired by Apax Partners, one of the world's leading private equity investment groups, in September 2009. Apax operates across the United States, Europe and Asia and has more than 30 years of investing experience. For more information on Apax, visit: www.Apax.com.

Bankrate Senior Financial Analyst Greg McBride, CFA, will be available to discuss the findings of the poll today. To request an interview with Mr. McBride or for more information please contact:

Hilary Dommu
Corporate Communications Coordinator
Bankrate, Inc.
477 Madison Ave., Suite 430
Ph. (917) 368-8635
Cell (561) 289-3556
Fx. (917) 368-8611

SOURCE Bankrate, Inc.