Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Smart Shopping: Money
These days, you may be skeptical about your bank with the downturn on Wall Street. Seven's Robbin Simmons is showing us how to shop for a bank and keep your money safe in tonight's Smart Shopping.
WSVN -- The Dow Jones Industrial Average is on a downward spiral this year causing turmoil on Wall Street, and that panic spreading over to Main Street. Several banks have gone under this year, but experts say there's no need to worry and withdraw money from your checking or savings account.
Fernando Capablanca, Union Credit Bank President: "Banks simply disappear. They are bought by another bank, and it's a total transparent situation to the customer. Approximately 100 percent of your deposits in a checking account, none interest bearing checking accounts, are insured."
Finance expert Fernando Capablanca has been managing banks for nearly 45 years and says to always think in the long-term when shopping for a bank.
Fernando Capablanca: "A few years from now, you may need to get a mortgage from your bank, or you may want to invest your 401K."
He tells his customers to develop a relationship from the start.
Marco Ferri, bank customer: "Know the direction that they are going because that's where you are putting your money."
That includes introducing yourself to the people making the decisions at your bank.
Alfredo Sotolongo: "If you expose yourself to top management, and they can know you and what your capable of doing, they help you."
If you're looking for a new bank, first prioritize what is important to you.
Daniel Fuchs: "I was looking for a bank that had better customer service than the banks that I was used to dealing with in the past."
Next, know how you use your accounts to make sure you don't get hit with hidden fees.
Fernando Capablanca: "Most banks have at least one product or two products that are fee free, that we do not ask you to maintain large balances in the account."
Consider small community banks for another money saver. They may be more flexible when it comes to covering overdrawn accounts without penalties.
Alfredo Sotolongo: "You want to be sure the top management has selected the right employees to be able to work with you when they're not available."
And finally, make sure your bank is meeting your needs. Set up a meeting with your banker at least once a year to update your finances.
Fernando Capablanca: "The more the bank knows about you and your problems and your needs, the better the bank will be able to serve you."
Also, ask for freebies such as on-line banking, direct deposit or a couple extra checks. If you're an on-the-run type of person, make sure to look for a bank with the most automated teller machines in your area.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Union Credit Bank
1150 South Miami Avenue
Miami, FL 33130