Speech bubble with three exclamation marks.

The Big Banking Chat: what are the biggest frustrations with banking?

We reveal what customers find most annoying about the way they currently bank.

3 min read

If we don’t talk about what annoys us about banking, we can’t avoid those same problems hurting us again and again in the future. So, to kickstart the Big Banking Chat, we wanted to surface the complaints and frustrations we all have about traditional banking.

Where to begin? Well, perhaps with our most shocking finding—two in three of us have been stung by a hidden fee, or unexpected charge from our current bank. And while these costs alone are outrageous enough, the impact they have on our financial habits is even more worrying.

We’re sceptical when it comes to banks

Banking should be transparent and simple, but instead we find ourselves wondering what else we’re missing when managing our money. And because we worry about what we’re missing, we just stop looking at our accounts, preferring blissful ignorance to worrying about how we’re being ripped off.

Banking basics

Banking jargon can be confusing—but it doesn't have to be. Find simple explanations to popular banking terms.
Learn the basics
Banking basics.

This leaves us unwilling to talk to other people about our financial concerns—less than half of us will share our worries with another person. And when we do, it’s clear that we’re sceptical of professionals; just 27 percent of people would ask their bank for advice, only slightly more than would ask their parents! Shockingly, in France that number drops to 16 percent and just 13 percent in Germany.

This has to change. As it’s not just hidden fees and charges, there’s so many different things which irritate us all about traditional banking. And if we’re not talking about them, we can’t fix these irritations.

What is driving us nuts?

Nearly half of Europeans and Americans say they get irritated by their bank, with nearly a third of us saying our bank doesn’t have our best interests at heart. And this goes even further—while we may be loyal to our banks, we don’t feel that loyalty is rewarded or recognized. This is particularly true in Spain where 30 percent of consumers say loyalty doesn’t pay, and in Italy, where nearly a quarter of people think their bank only cares about making money from them.

What’s underpinning our irritation? It all comes back to needless charges, which consumers don’t expect, and the traditional banks aren’t transparent about.

38 percent of us have had to deal with ATM fees while 40 percent have been stung by an overdraft fee. The overdraft charges are particularly irritating—after all, less than half of people across the US and Europe can explain what having an arranged overdraft actually means. With that being said, it’s no surprise that when we asked people the one thing they’d change about banks, two-thirds of them said they’d scrap these hidden fees and charges.

Time for a change?

If this has got you nodding your head in recognition, it might be time for you to try a different approach—one which doesn’t leave you irritated and in the dark about your finances.

At N26, we put you back in control. Our app makes banking completely transparent, meaning you know what’s happening to every penny you spend. And our range of perks, partnerships and features mean we can offer a truly individual banking service to all our customers, while making sure your money goes that little bit further.

The only question we want you to have left unanswered about banking with us is why you didn’t make the switch sooner.

Ready to switch? Get started here.

The bank you'll love

✓ 100% mobile ✓ No hidden fees ✓ No paperwork ✓ Free virtual Mastercard ✓ Free ATM withdrawals
Get started (new tab)
An elevated hand holding a transparent N26 Standard card.

Find similar stories

By N26

Love your bank

Related posts

These might also interest you
Brendan Walsh - Portfolio manager, writer and investor.

Trading vs. Investing: Understanding the Key Differences

Trading and investing — what’s the difference? And what might be best for you? Brendan Walsh, a veteran investor, digs into the details and gives his expert opinion.

Illustration of a woman using her mobile and 3 coins coming out of it.

How to transfer money from one bank to another

SEPA, intra-bank, and inter-bank transfers. Not sure what all this banking jargon actually means? Discover how to best move your money around, explained in simple terms.

N26 how to save money in college and university a hand holding Euro coins Photo by Mein Deal.

Different types of trading and strategies to get started

Before you dive into trading, it's crucial to understand the different types of trading you could explore. Read this article to learn more about trading strategies and how they work.