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Industry Research : America Voted: This is the Bank We Dislike Most
Ask an American what they think of their bank and you might hear words like "overpriced" or "irritating" or, in an era of super-low interest on savings accounts, ‘’stingy." And that’s particularly true of the biggest banks, according to a new survey.
A report released this week by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), an independent benchmark of U.S. customer satisfaction, found that customer satisfaction with retail banking (including checking, savings, and personal loans) fell from 78 out of a total score of 100 last year to a score of 76 out of 100 — putting it close to the bottom third of the more than 40 industries measured.
What’s more, in terms of customer satisfaction, the four biggest banks had particularly low scores, with Bank of America BAC, -0.47% at the bottom. "Bank of America maintains its highest score since 2008, but still lags competing institutions and is the only big bank to not regain a pre-recession level of customer satisfaction," the report reveals.
A spokesman for Bank of America noted that "the ACSI results show we are making progress in some key categories — loyalty experienced a significant increase, and our customer complaint percentage is the lowest since 2004 — but we know we still have some work left to do."
Smaller community banks scored an average 80 out of 100 (four points higher than bigger banks), though they did have a larger fall in scoring (from 83 to 80) than the big banks did as compared to last year. "Although many small banks have resorted to similar revenue-generating fees as big banks, sapping some of their customer satisfaction in the process, they remain far ahead of larger institutions in offering better customer service and lower charges."
So what is it that we dislike so much about out bank, be it large or small? The No. 1, most disliked thing is the competitiveness of the interest rates, followed by the number and location of branch locations, the call center experience and the number and location of ATMs.
On the upside, there are plenty of things we like more about our banks, including the staff (who consumers generally rated as courteous and helpful) and the speed with which the financial transactions are completed.
The ACSI report is based on interviews with more than 6,800 randomly selected Americans.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Monday, November 3, 2014