Usually when you have to apply for a loan or a mortgage, most people choose the lender by basically evaluating the economic aspects, such as the annual costs or the interest rate.
But is it really sufficient to evaluate only these two points to understand which bank to choose to open a current account or apply for a personal loan?
How and which bank to choose?
The points to be evaluated are mainly five:
- bank interest and expenses;
- presence on the national territory;
- quality of customer service;
- capital solidity;
- prevalent function.
1. Bank Interest and Charges
Several banks are posing with an attitude of great openness and availability towards the customer, precisely to be able to identify the solution that best suits their needs. So before assessing interests it is important to opt for an institution with friendly and knowledgeable staff.
As regards bank interests, it is clear that it is necessary to evaluate (by inquiring at the bank or by viewing the website) what the rates are proposed and whether they are actually competitive with respect to the market proposals.
The other aspect that is evaluated more frequently concerns the costs and costs of opening, closing and managing an account, loan or mortgage. Be careful not to be dazzled by zero-cost proposals, because perhaps by carefully reading the contractual terms you may find that there are hidden costs instead.
2. Presence on the National Territory
This reflection must be made especially if you opt for a physical bank because you need to evaluate the presence on the national territory of the institution.
In fact, we need to reflect on some aspects: what to do if you have to withdraw outside the province and you cannot find the ATM of your bank? Are you forced to withdraw from another institution by paying high commissions?
This is not the case if you choose an online bank which, being not tied to a physical branch, allows you to carry out any operation anywhere and at any time.
3. Customer Service Quality
Although this aspect is often underestimated, it is actually quite important, as knowing that you can rely on a customer support service when you have a problem of a different nature is fundamental.
For example, if there are anomalies or various problems on the weekend or outside office hours, being able to call a toll-free number or interface with a chat service can be quite useful.
4. Asset solidity
We begin to go down more in the technician, in any case it is useful to inquire about the solidity when considering which bank to choose to take out a mortgage or loan.
This term refers to the institution’s ability to hold and support the possibility that current account holders do not return the money lent to them. If this happens, we speak of bad debts and impaired loans, the so-called NPL, Non Performing Loan.
For example, an institution that has too many NPLs in relation to the profits obtained, risks being crushed by debt.
However, to understand if a bank is more or less safe and reliable, a normal customer can refer to the Stress Test, the checks carried out on a regular basis by the bank supervisory and control authority, EBA.
This aspect is also often overlooked, in fact assessing the bank based on its function is important. In fact, to choose the best institution, it is necessary to select it according to your specific objective : investing, saving, etc.