The news: In spite of a wide variety of banking options, US consumers have kept the same checking account for an average of over 17 years, and retained their primary savings account for nearly as long, per a new survey from Bankrate.
More on this: The longevity held up across generations. For example, Bankrate noted that older millennials, at ages 26 to 32, have kept their checking and primary savings accounts for an average of more than nine years and over seven years, respectively.
Respondents frequently cited convenience as a reason for why they don’t switch:
But the most commonly cited reason was unrelated to convenience, with 24% replying that they pay low or no monthly fees. Bankrate notes that the majority of the survey’s checking-account respondents, at 76%, said their accounts lack monthly fees.
The big takeaway: US consumers stick with their banks for long periods, in part, because it’s not easy to change. In contrast, customers in the UK can do so relatively easily through the Current Account Switch Service (CASS), which takes a lot of the hassle out of their hands.
Stateside switching could become easier, based on regulatory actions:
However, making it easier for people to switch may have a limited impact on whether they choose to do so, as account longevity also acts as a self-perpetuating factor. Banks looking to land new customers will need to invest in marketing and product differentiation as well as continuing to improve their digital customer experience:
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