Editor’s note: We are thrilled to introduce a new guest blogger, Kimberly Palmer. The author of Generation Earn: The Young Professional’s Guide to Spending, Investing, and Giving Back, and personal finance columnist at US News & World Report will be joining us for a monthly series with tips and advice on all things Savvy. Take it away, Kimberly . . .
In the wake of the recession, most of us are more suspicious of banks than ever. In fact, a recent survey by Aite Group found that more than one in five 20-somethings say they trust banks less than they used to. The good news is that just like a bad boyfriend committed to redeeming himself, banks are working hard to earn back our trust. As customers, we can take advantage of that.
Here are five steps banks are taking to win back customers:
They are teaching us about money. Some of the biggest financial institutions out there have launched financial literacy websites designed to make it more fun to learn better money habits. SunTrust’s LiveSolid.com offers a magazine-like approach to learning about money, with articles on how to be happier, meal planning, and how to improve your credit score. The site also offers free calculators that get into the nitty-gritty of saving for retirement and annuities, too. ING Direct offers wethesavers.ingdirect.com, which covers economic news as well as pop culture. The frequently updated blog features the voices of customers as well as chief executive Arkadi Kuhlmann. Many credit unions, such as the Texas Dow Employees Credit Union, are doing the same. TDECU’s www.youngfreetexas.com is full of videos, contests, saving tips, and blog posts, designed to appeal to its 20-something customers.
They are offering up free tools and resources to help us save. Many banks now offer free online spending analysis, which makes it easier to see where your money is going. Designed to compete with free software such as Mint.com, these free tools are accessible whenever you log in to your online account.