The Business Case for ‘Warmth and Competence’

Customers protesting debit-card fees at a Bank of America branch in Los Angeles Photograph by Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

For years, surveys have shown that smaller banks, including online-only institutions, offer checking account customers some of the best deals in the banking industry. Bigger banks, by contrast, continue to boost revenues by slowly raising monthly maintenance fees, overdraft penalties, and ATM fees. Big banks get away with this because they have the resources and market power to pull it off.

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