First, spend some time making a list of your needs and preferences as it relates to banking. For example, Do you like to visit your banking institution in person, or would you rather do your banking electronically or by mail? Is a high yield important to you, or is your typical balance usually pretty low so that any earnings would be minimal? What other services might you need, such as a safe-deposit box, brokerage account, trust services, or financial and estate planning?
review all the types of financial institutions and the services they provide. Then, beside each need on your list, write down the institutions that would best meet that need. Is there one banking institution that would meet all your needs, or do you think you’d require several? Look beyond your area as well, and consider what services are available over the Internet or from other regions of the country. Make a list of your top choices and find out more information concerning their services, products, and fees charged to help you decide where you’d like to do business.
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