In the battle of the banks, branch-less institutions appear to be winning. According to an analysis of 2012 banking data, direct banks -- also known as online banks -- are the only type of bank that gained market share last year.
Consultancy group TNS recently issued a white paper that details how national, regional and even community banks have struggled to maintain market share against online institutions. Deposits at major direct banks have more than doubled in the past five years.
High savings account rates may be a draw
The analysis looked at deposits for these four major direct banks:
These banks forgo traditional branches and, largely as a result of their low overhead, currently offer savings account rates and CD rates that are well above the national averages. Those rates may be one reason why individuals choosing direct banks tend to have higher levels of income and assets.The TNS report found that 36 percent of those using direct banks have incomes exceeding $100,000 per year. In addition, 39 percent have more than $100,000 in investable assets. Those figures are well above the averages for American households with incomes of more than $100,000 (23 percent) and investable assets of more than $100,000 (28 percent).