Over the last few years, I've written quite a lot about why it's so difficult to switch banks, including here on the Huffington Post ("Banks Hold On Tightly To Our Bits" April 20, 2010).
I got the idea to start Facilitas about 5 years ago when I was giving a speech to roughly 500 bank marketing executives. In my speech, I asked them a rhetorical question: "Are your customers loyal or lazy?" And the response was nervous laughter because they knew the answer was LAZY. You see, they actually want lazy customers. When they invent new fees, they determine how many customers will be upset enough to switch. Unfortunately for us, it's so difficult to switch banks the math has always worked in their favor.
In the fall of 2005, we built a prototype of a tool to help people switch banks. I visited most of the top 20 largest banks to get their feedback. Most were extremely interested in the tool - as long as they could have exclusivity. A couple threatened lawsuits if we launched it (nice). One offered to pay for the development as long as they owned the rights and could collect royalties when competitors deployed it. In the end, I learned they were all just wasting my time because it wasn't in their interest to make it easy for people to switch banks.
But I want them to know there are A LOT of people who would switch banks if it were easier. So I've created a Facebook group called "1,000,000 people who hate their bank." They'll pay attention to numbers more than some crazy entrepreneur. So if you would ditch your bank if it was easier, join my group (and tell your friends too). They need to know we've had enough.
By the way, over the summer we'll be adding a switching tool to FindABetterBank. Bad banks beware.