SALT LAKE CITY — Record numbers of Americans are leaving their banks and moving to others, according to SmartMoney.

Almost 10 percent of all banking customers made a change with their primary bank account in the last 12 months, according to a 2012 J.D. Power and Associates report. That's a 25 percent increase since 2010. Most of the switches have been to smaller institutions, as memberships at credit unions reached a record high of 92 million last year.

The main reason for the transfers is customer dissatisfaction with higher fees, according to SmartMoney. Many banks are accelerating the trend with higher interest rates and cash rewards for customers who open new accounts.

But switching banks isn't always rosy, according to the article. The switch can be difficult for many consumers whose accounts regularly make automatic payments and accept direct deposits. These transactions easily lead to penalties, fees and missed mortgage payments.