|By PR Newswire||
|March 5, 2013 09:33 AM EST|
STRASBURG, Va., March 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- First Bank is attempting to reverse a national trend of banks pushing customers into higher-cost deposit accounts by adding a free checking account program into its personal checking lineup. This decision was made after conducting extensive customer surveys. The Strasburg-based community bank who operates through 10 locations in the northern Shenandoah Valley and online, asked customers a wide range of questions related to services and products at First Bank. On the product side, the results were almost unanimous, with 94% of those surveyed requesting the return of free checking accounts. While the number of banks offering free checking accounts has dropped significantly in the past four years, First Bank will go against the trend this March when it reintroduces free checking accounts with no minimum balance requirements and no monthly service charges. The Free Checking will also include free debit cards, free online banking and delivery of statements automatically by email.
"We were amazed to see how unified customers were around this one issue," said First Bank President Scott Harvard. "Free checking is important to First Bank customers, so I'm thrilled to announce that we are bringing it back in March. At First Bank, we have a long history of listening to our customers, and we want everyone in the northern Shenandoah Valley to know that if your bank isn't listening to you, then you should call us."
In 2009, free checking accounts soared to an all-time high, representing 76% of all checking account programs, according to BankRate.com. The number of checking accounts declined significantly in the last four years, and in 2012 only 39% of checking accounts in the U.S. were still considered free. Many banks, large and small, are hitting customers with a wide range of user fees, from higher ATM withdrawal fees, to higher fees associated with basic checking accounts. First Bank's introduction of its free checking program may help to reverse that trend, if only in Virginia.
First Bank is headquartered in Strasburg, Virginia and serves the northern Shenandoah Valley from Winchester to Mount Jackson. The bank offers a full range of banking services, including loans, deposits, trust and investment services. Founded in 1907, First Bank has been the Shenandoah Valley's choice for banking for over 100 years. First Bank is large enough to provide everything customers desire, while still being small enough to know customers by name. First National Corporation operates as the holding company for First Bank, a state-charted commercial bank that provides services to individuals, small and medium-sized businesses, local governmental entities, and non-profit organizations.
To learn more about free checking at First Bank or to begin banking with First Bank, visit www.fbvirginia.com for additional information and location listings. First Bank is a Member of the FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender.
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