How to Find the Best Bank in St. Paul
If you have ever looked to the internet for guidance on selecting the best bank, you are certain to have found lists that start (and usually end) with comparing checking account options. Special attention is given to balance minimums, maintenance fees, interest rates, overdraft fees and card fees. All of these are easy to compare between banks and credit unions.
The “guidance” is weak, however, because it focuses on costs. It omits qualitative factors that may, in fact, be more important to developing a long-lasting and satisfying relationship with a bank.
What do people want in a bank? Of course, they want safety and easy access to their money. Competitive pricing and electronic services are also among the basics. These are the easily identified and “rationale” wants, and a search for a bank will probably include a review of all of these.
But, there is more. Banking is about money, and money evokes strong, sometimes irrational emotions. Everyone has deeply-held and often subconscious beliefs about money. The bank you select should understand this complex relationship and work to be a trusted haven and source of advice.
Looking strictly at checking pricing will not give you a clue about a bank’s values, management’s priorities, desire to be a trusted partner in money management or becoming a source of honest advice.
Financial expert, Suze Orman states that fear, shame and anger are the most common emotions surrounding money. A bank that increases anxiety with intense sales tactics, lack of personal attention or programmed bankers just makes a challenging relationship with money even worse.
Our thoughts about money often stem from childhood. Poor families may foster bad money habits and beliefs in their children. Wealthy families may impart strategies on wealth creation to the children or foster a belief that getting money is easy and having money is a right.
Add to that the fact that most schools do not include financial education, thus leaving many young people with a propensity to make bad financial decisions. Some financial psychologists use the term “money script” to describe these core beliefs about money. They say that money scripts are typically unconscious, developed in childhood, passed down from generation to generation, and often only partial truths.
So, how do you find the best bank in St. Paul? Almost all banks offer free checking, free internet banking, no-fee ATMs, mobile banking and more. Yes, some banks have more branches than others, but the need for a bank down the street is going away, quickly. You may return to the branch to conduct business only occasionally, relying instead on the convenience of your phone, laptop or tablet.
When you realize that what you also want in a bank is the ability to be known, to be appreciated and to feel that you have a partner who understands the very intense and complex relationship we all have with money, it means you select a community bank.
And, it is my hope that you select us… Drake Bank… arguably the best bank in St. Paul!