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  • Ever notice how TV commercials for big banks go really hard on the shmaltz?

  • Loving families, cute babies, sweet old retired people, micropigs on leashes.

  • It's almost as if they're trying to distract us from something

  • Oh, you mean like how in 2016 Wells Fargo admitted to creating 3.5 million fake accounts

  • for customers to collect extra fees, and charged over 570,000 people for auto insurance they

  • didn't need, resulting in over 20,000 customers going into defaults?

  • And then there's the now infamous practices of Citibank, Lehman Bros, AIG and other Wall

  • Street giants of bundling toxicjunkassets and repackaging them as AAA super-safe

  • investments, which led to a near collapse of the international money system that ordinary

  • people are still hurting from.

  • And most Americans feel that big banks are rewarded rather than punished for risky and

  • predatory behavior.

  • Bank of America received tens of billions in bail-out funds in 2009, only to turn around

  • the very next year and pay $35 billion in executive bonuses!

  • Not surprisingly, our trust in these institutions is low.

  • A recent gallup poll showed that only 27% of Americans have confidence in banks.

  • But this is not a new phenomenon.14th-century poet Dante placed money-lenders in the 7th

  • circle of hell, below violent murderers and blasphemers!.

  • So, being suspicious of big banks is nothing new, but what can you do?

  • You've got to stash your cash somewhere, and who can get through life without ever

  • taking out a loan or using a credit card?

  • Thankfully, you do have options.

  • Alternatives to big banks have been around for a long time, and if you haven't looked

  • into them yet, it might be time.

  • One good alternative is a local community bank.

  • Their fees and charges can be lower than national chains, and you can be pretty sure they won't

  • use your money for risky bets or Wall Street gambles.

  • Community banks also tend to make investments in the immediate region, helping to develop

  • projects and businesses that create jobs and improve spaces in your hometown.

  • There are over 52,000 community bank locations nationwide and you can find ones in your area

  • by checking out the ICBA's website.

  • Then there are banks that have no physical location whatsoever: Online-based banks like

  • SIMPLE and CHIME usually have lower fees partly due to having no brick-and-mortar expenses.

  • They also tend to have no account minimums, don't charge overdraft fees, and ATMs are

  • fee-free at over 30,000 locations.

  • Both local banks and online-based banks still typically offer FDIC protection on up to $250,000

  • worth of deposits per person and account type.

  • So for most people, they are just as secure as the big national chains.

  • You could also choose to ditch banks all together, and open up an account at a credit union.

  • Credit unions allow you to make deposits and withdrawals, take out loans and credit cards,

  • and enjoy most other services you might expect from a bank.

  • But unlike banks, credit unions are all non-profit entities.

  • Any profits made by the credit union are returned to you in the form of reduced fees, higher

  • savings rates, and better loan terms.

  • This is because credit unions technically don't havecustomers”--they havemembers”.

  • Everyone who keeps their money at a credit union is seen as a part owner of the institution.

  • And they usually all share a common bond - perhaps they all live in a particular geographic location,

  • work in the same industry, or are all alumni of the same university.

  • One member's deposits end up becoming an auto or business loan for another member.

  • Teamwork!

  • Credit unions offer FDIC-like protection through the NCUSIF, and most credit unions are part

  • of a national shared-branch network which allows you to bank at thousands of other credit

  • unions just like they were your own.

  • So depending on your credit union, you could have access to even more ATMs and branches

  • than with a big national bank.

  • Maybe this all sounds great to you, and you're ready to say sayonara to your big bank, but

  • there are a few drawbacks to consider before making the switch.

  • Because of their size and scope, big banks are better at international banking and lending.

  • Making a withdrawal from abroad or getting a loan in another country can be a tall order

  • for many local banks and credit unions.

  • So if you do a lot of travelling or have a cross-border business, sticking with a big

  • bank can make your life easier.

  • Also, smaller banks and credit unions usually can't compete with the big banks' digital

  • offerings.

  • So if things like banking apps, budgeting software and online accounting tools are important

  • to you, be sure to inquire about the technological support they offer.

  • Even though these advantages come from big banks' huge size, in their ads they often

  • go out of their way to portray themselves as homey, familiar, even rustic.

  • It's as if they're saying that little local organizations are more trustworthy.

  • So, if you find these commercials persuasive, maybe you should check out the smaller organizations

  • in your neighborhood.

  • And that's our two cents!

Ever notice how TV commercials for big banks go really hard on the shmaltz?

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B1 中級

信用組合は大手銀行よりも優れているのか? (Are credit unions better than big banks?)

  • 3 0
    Capalu Yang に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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