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5 Easy Steps to Switch Banks

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Small towns all over have been affected in various ways by the COVID-19 pandemic and other current events. For instance, some businesses sadly have had to close up shop, including local branches of big banks. This means many folks have been left without easy access to brick-and-mortar branches, so they can’t go to receive help in person. This has led many community members to question if they should look for a new bank altogether. You may wonder, “Is it easy to switch banks?”

The thought of trying to start over can be stressful. But we’re here to let you in on a secret: switching banks is actually really simple- especially when it’s a community bank like ours! There are so many benefits of banking locally. To get in on the perks, keep reading to see our switching banks checklist.

Big Banks vs. Local Banks?

We’ve already mentioned the ease of switching banks, but what all is in store for individuals who want to switch? For starters, small banks make decisions that are in the best interest of their communities at large. They will look out for local businesses and residents, functioning as your partner or neighbor rather than your lender.

Small banks have a direct impact on the health of the local economy, as they boost the lending power of businesses and individuals alike. That allows up-and-coming businesses to grow and for people in the area to better themselves. We do our best to support you in your endeavors because we want to see every member of the community thrive! If you switch to a local bank, you’ll be making a difference; you’d be investing in the community. Your money would be used to strengthen the economic conditions for yourself, the bank, and your town!

Unlike large banks that provide general services to a vast number of areas, community banks offer personalized services that suit the needs of their account holders. For example, if there is ever a crisis or natural disaster in the area, your local bank will do everything they can to support their account holders and protect their finances. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case with big banks.

Why Switch to Highlands Community Bank?

At Highlands Community Bank, our door is always open. You can speak with someone right in your hometown who has the experience and genuinely cares. From the start, our goal has been to make banking the way it should be – easy. To make that possible, we offer uncomplicated products and services with competitive rates and low service fees (unlike massive financial institutions). We know the people in the Highlands like they’re our own family. We’re committed to serving this wonderful community. We love to show our support for people and businesses in this town. You can rely on us to be here for you, no matter what! Our bank has been around for twenty years and counting.

Highlands Community Bank has three branches in Covington, Clifton Forge, and Hot Springs. You can call us at any time or pop in to visit if you ever need assistance. Our team loves meeting with customers! You can come to us for any of your banking questions or needs.

You won’t be left in the dark when you bank with us. We value communicating openly with our customers so they can stay on track with their finances. At our bank, we aim to make every process convenient and easy to understand. Our staff will guide you every step of the way and work with you in the truest sense.

How to Make the Switch to Highlands Community Bank

Step 1: Figure out what kind of account you would like to open

The best place to start when switching banks is to determine what you want and need out of your financial institution. Here at Highlands Community Bank, we proudly offer multiple types of checking and savings accounts among other services. You’ll want to do your research and understand what opening an account entails. For instance, to open a personal checking account at Highlands, you should be prepared to make a minimum opening deposit of $200. Make notes of any requirements and look out for any benefits like online banking, free bill pay, and more.

Step 2: Open an account at HCB

To open a new bank account, stop by a local branch! You will need:

  • To present 2 forms of ID, one being a primary ID
  • Other basic information like your birthdate, social security number or taxpayer ID number, or phone number
  • An initial minimum deposit of $200; you’ll need to have the funds available to transfer into your new account (cash, check, or electronic transfers work!)
  • If you’re opening a joint bank account, all account owners and signers must be present with their identification documents
  • If the account owner is not yet 18, a parent or legal guardian will need to attend and sign legal documents

Step 3: Create a list of your services and transactions with your old bank

To make the process of changing banks go smoothly, look at the last year’s worth of your transaction history to note any automatic bill payments and subscriptions, direct deposits, linked accounts, and recurring transfers. Be sure to jot these all down for your record!

Additionally, make note of any bank services you are currently using such as banking alerts (i.e. email or text notifications), paper checks, or a safety deposit box.

Step 4: Try transitioning your funds to the new account

This is when you’ll begin transferring your money over to your new bank account! To start, transfer funds from your old bank account into your new bank account to ensure everything works the way it’s intended.

Be sure to update any of your direct deposits so you receive your paychecks in your new account. Then, schedule any bill payments from your new account once your first direct deposit goes through.

Finally, go through your list and tie up any loose ends. Make sure you order any checks, secure a new safe-deposit box, and update any service providers (i.e. cell phone carriers and cable bills).

Step 5: Close your old account

Check to see that all your automatic transactions have cleared. Once you’ve determined everything is working as intended, you can finally close your old bank accounts. You can usually do so over the phone, in a written request, or in person if you’re able. Your bank might try to sway you to stay with them, so be prepared.

Experts recommend getting a document confirming your account has officially closed. Also, to avoid any problems, be sure to empty and close your account at the same time after all your direct deposits and automatic payments are successfully rerouted to your new account.

Highlands Community Bank: Switching Made Easy

We’d love to welcome you into the Highlands family! Contact us today to set up a new account. You can come down to your nearest Highlands branch or give us a call, anytime.

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