Americans to big banks: We forgive you

Bank sign © John Foxx, Stockbyte, Getty ImagesMSN Money – by Catey Hill

Despite the reams of bad press big banks have received for their sometimes questionable antics, a surprising number of Americans say they actually quite like their banks.

Customer satisfaction with banks is now at a six-year high, according to a study released Tuesday by the American Customer Satisfaction Index. The satisfaction rating rose 1.3% compared with last year, hitting 78 out of 100 (100 is the highest).   

JPMorgan Chase (JPM +0.34%) tops the list of big banks in terms of customer satisfaction, scoring 76 out of 100, a 3% climb from last year. Citigroup (C -0.71%) scored a 74 (up 6% from last year), Wells Fargo (WFC -0.47%) 72 (up 1% from last year) and Bank of America (BAC -0.13%) a 69 (up 5% from last year; it is the only big bank that hasn’t yet gotten its customer service score up to pre-recession levels). In fact, overall customer satisfaction with banks is now higher than the average across industries.

What’s surprising about this climb in customer satisfaction is that it comes amid a flurry of bad press. Just this year, JPMorgan Chase made headlines when it agreed to pay a $13 billion fine (a record high) to settle allegations that it made misrepresentations over its mortgage backed securities that helped exacerbate the financial crisis — and yet it retained the top spot among big banks on this list.

ACSI managing director David VanAmburg says that headlines like these don’t have much of an effect on consumers because they don’t impact their day-to-day banking experience in visible ways. Instead, he says, what’s primarily driving the uptick in customer service satisfaction at banks is their generally easy-to-use websites.

“More and more banks are creating good websites, and more consumers are using them,” says VanAmburg. And that, he says, is spilling over into the brick-and-mortar locales too, as fewer consumers have to wait in line and deal with customer service reps to do their basic banking.

At the same time, banks have been steadily raising their fees: Checking account fees hit a record high in 2013, according to a survey from Bankrate.com, with banks charging an average of $5.54 in monthly checking account fees and an average of $4.13 to make a withdrawal at an out-of-network ATM.

But that also doesn’t seem to be angering consumers too much: “There are ways to get around them,” says Greg McBride, senior financial analyst at Bankrate.com. Of the 473 checking accounts that Bankrate surveyed, 97% were either free or could become free if account holders met certain criteria, like signing up for direct deposit to get the monthly fee waived. Furthermore, though bank fees did tick up in 2013, these increases were slight compared with those in previous years, says McBride.

To be sure, credit unions and smaller banks still beat the behemoths in terms of customer satisfaction. Smaller banks score an 83 out of 100, up 5% from last year; credit unions score an 85 out of 100, up 3.7% this year. And despite big banks getting some love from their customers, those small bank and credit union scores should worry the big banks: Credit union membership hit a record high in 2011 and 2012 and is on track to exceed those numbers this year as well.

So what exactly do consumers like about banks? More than nine in 10 say that the staff at their bank is courteous and helpful, 88% say their financial transactions are completed quickly and 85% report that they are satisfied with the website experience.

On the flip side, consumers tend to be less satisfied with the competitiveness of the interest rates their bank offers (the average savings account now offers just 0.45% on average, according to Bankrate.com), the helpfulness of bank call centers and the number and location of their bank’s ATMs.

http://money.msn.com/top-stocks/post–america-to-big-banks-we-forgive-you

4 thoughts on “Americans to big banks: We forgive you

  1. Not until every banker and traitorous politician are hanging by the hemp rope will I consider forgiveness. Maybe when I’m pissing on their graves. Maybe not.

  2. Millard I’m !00% with you on that one.ameriKans are happy that they have bent bent over and raped is more what this story should say.And now for the bad part,it might just be true because this country seems to have some very slow learners in it! Just remember shelter in place is good for you even if it is getting you use to marshal law. Not to mention all of those nice storm troopers get to play with all those new toys the feds have issued to them.And also be sure to listen to the MSM when they tell you who is ,and is not electable so you get to think YOU actually elected someone.

  3. One thing that strikes me…you can ALWAYS count on the MSM to pimp for the NWO.
    More consumers on the sites means they are loaning out money like crazy because of the FED printing money. Get ready for the next bail out. Next comes civil war. Nobody forgives these heathens nor do we excuse them. Millard’s right about the hemp. All 50 states should start producing it now.

  4. Looks like the khazar ‘jews’ are wasting no time.

    December 10, 2013 6:19 pm
    JPMorgan files patent for Bitcoin-style payment system
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/e230307a-61c4-11e3-aa02-00144feabdc0.html

    They are doing this for a few reasons. Control, manipulation of the price, and still being the middleman…

    Remember, jpmorgan, at the behest of rothschild
    ruined nikola tesla. We’d have free energy straight
    from space if it wasn’t for rothschild control and greed.

    The NWO is really debt-slavery run by the ‘jews’.

    -flek

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