Unhappy with your bank? You’re not alone

Bank Window, La Pryor, Texas 1939. Russell Lee, American (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, DC)

J.D. Power just released a study that found that nearly 10% of bank customers switched banks last year:

The 9.6% who moved their money compared to 8.7% in 2010 and 7.7% in 2009 – an increase the study attributed to a backlash against increased fees, coupled with poor service and unmet customer expectations.

“It is apparent that new or increased fees are the proverbial straws that break the camel’s back,” said Michael Beird, director of Power’s banking services practice.

Most of the change is attributable to a move to smaller banks and credit unions.

Among banks with more than $33 billion in assets, annual switching rates are now running at 10% or more on average, Power said. The defection rate for small banks and credit unions now averages only 0.9%, a significant drop from 8.8% last year, it said.