Do you opt to do nothing when conditions change?


It is the so-called status quo bias: our tendency to stay as we are and to stick with the decisions we took at the time in the face of any changes and alternatives that crop up. It is the decision to do nothing. We know that financial institutions can unilaterally modify the original terms of our account agreement and, for example, introduce new fees provided they notify us with at least two months' notice. If, upon this notification, we choose to do nothing, it is understood that we tacitly accept the new conditions. This is what we are talking about when we refer to the status quo bias.  

However, we also have other options at our disposal, such as, in the case of the example, talking to our bank to negotiate the new conditions or transferring the account to another bank that offers us better conditions (under the new regulations, transferring accounts is very simple and free of charge. 

In opposition to the status quo bias and our tendency to stay as we are, we propose these two strategies to use your head when faced with a change in the conditions of your financial products: 

  • STRATEGY 1: Use this Banco de España interest rate and fee comparison site Abre en ventana nueva to be able to compare the fees and interest rates applied by the different institutions and choose the best option for you. Using this comparison site also saves you time. 
  • STRATEGY 2: Pay attention to your bank's notifications. Remember that you should regularly check the e-mail inbox that you have enabled as a customer of the institution.

Reference: Samuelson, W. and R. Zeckhauser (1988) Status quo bias in decision making, Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 1: 7-59


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