Oklahoma’s strong community-banking background is a big reason why the state was ranked the third-best state for affordable banking, according to GOBankingRates.com.
The Website’s study, which looked at credit unions and banks in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, identified the “10 Best and Worst Places for Affordable Banking.”
Key factors evaluated included minimum balance requirements, annual percentage yields, as well as average fees and monthly charges for deposit accounts.
The study also looked at the number of financial institutions available to state residents, because accessibility plays into affordability quite closely, said Jennifer Calonia, GOBankingRates senior editor.
Easy access to a bank’s ATM network as well as the ability to work directly with bank representatives in a branch or to talk to a lender contribute to a customer’s overall knowledge and the ability to keep fees low, Calonia said.
The most competitive states with affordable banking were concentrated mainly in the Midwest and South, with the exception of Massachusetts and Rhode Island in the Northeast.
Arkansas and Iowa were the top ranked states.
According to the study, Oklahoma banks and credit unions are consumer friendly when it comes to fees and charges.
“The primary reason, I believe, is that Oklahoma is predominantly a community bank state, which means that the banks that operate here really operate on the basis of the relationship with the customer rather than treating customers as an objective series of numbers,” said Roger Beverage, president and CEO of the Oklahoma Bankers Association. “And that is big. You get to know your customer.”
If the customer doesn’t survive, then the bank loses and the community loses.”
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