SOURCE: Kasasa

Kasasa

March 11, 2015 09:34 ET

Study: Monthly Service Fee Tops Most-Hated List for Bank Customers

Millennials, Megabank Customers More Likely to Feel Scammed by Fees

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwired - Mar 11, 2015) - The monthly service fee tops the list of most-hated bank fees in 2015, with almost one-third of consumers (31 percent) choosing it as their most hated, according to the 2015 Consumer Banking Insights (CBI) Study.

After monthly service fees, ATM fees (26 percent) are consumers' second most-hated charge, according to the second annual banking study, which was conducted online by Harris Poll in January 2015 and surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. adults (ages 18 and up) on behalf of more than 280 community financial institutions offering the Kasasa® brand of checking accounts.

While 92 percent of consumers* claim to be aware of the fee structure at their bank, 1 in 4 still feel scammed by bank fees. Megabank customers* and Millennials are more likely than their counterparts to feel this way. Megabank customers (36 percent) are twice as likely to feel scammed by bank fees compared to community bank and credit union customers* (14 percent), and 30 percent of Millennials feel scammed compared to just 16 percent of U.S. adults ages 55 and up.

"When it comes to your finances and your banking relationships, the last thing you want to feel is scammed," says Gabe Krajicek, CEO behind Kasasa. "Just like airlines, banks -- particularly megabanks -- have been boosting fees, and customers haven't failed to notice."

Megabank customers are also three times as likely to consider more or higher fees to be a disadvantage of their bank (23 percent) over community bank and credit union customers (7 percent). Half of community bank and credit union customers (49 percent) say their checking account is free no matter what, compared to just 14 percent of megabank customers. The study found that 2 out of 3 U.S. adults (66 percent) would rather bank at a community bank or credit union than one of the big national banks, if everything were equal.

"The good news is that consumers can easily eliminate the top two most-hated fees," Krajicek says. "Free checking accounts that do not charge monthly service fees and also refund out-of-network ATM fees are available through community banks and credit unions nationwide, and consumers can save a lot of money simply by switching."

About the 2015 Consumer Banking Insights Study
Nearly 300 community financial institutions offering BancVue's Kasasa brand of checking accounts teamed up to commission the 2015 Consumer Banking Insights Study. The study was conducted online by Harris Poll from January 5-9, 2015. The study polled 1,002 U.S. adults ages 18 and up to gauge their banking and checking preferences, feelings and behaviors.

Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

*Throughout this report "megabank customers" are checking account holders who consider one of the big national banks to be their primary banking institution and "community bank and credit union customers" are those who consider a local community bank or a credit union to be their primary banking institution. "Consumers" are defined as U.S. adults ages 18 and up who have a checking account at a financial institution.

About Kasasa
Kasasa is a national brand of free rewards checking accounts offered exclusively at community financial institutions. Kasasa accounts are always free, have no minimum balance, and offer nationwide ATM fee refunds. Kasasa accounts also reward consumers with incentives including earning high interest, cash back, automatic savings, or digital downloads from iTunes® and Amazon®. Kasasa is currently offered at nearly 300 community banks and credit unions and 1,200 branches, making it the 9th largest branch network in the nation. Kasasa marries innovative products with the personal touch of local banking. For more information, visit www.Kasasa.com.

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