The financial crisis may have given big banks a bad name, but a new study suggests that, well, people may be really starting to like them again.
According to an annual J.D. Power retail banking study, big banks significantly improved in overall customer satisfaction in 2016, while midsize banks declined for the first time since 2010 and regional banks plateaued.
The study is based on responses from more than 75,000 retail banking customers of more than 130 of the largest banks in the U.S. It measures satisfaction in six factors: account information, channel activities, facility, fees, problem resolution and product offerings. Satisfaction is measured on a 1,000-point scale.
The big banks (defined as the six largest financial institutions based on total deposits as reported by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., averaging $180 billion and above) scored a total of 793 points, a six-point uptick from 2015. Midsize banks (defined as those with between $33 billion and $2 billion in deposits) scored a 797, but were down five points from last year. And regional banks (defined as those with between $180 billion and $33 billion in deposits) held steady with a score of 790.
The big six gained ground largely due to their technological offerings, scoring the highest in mobile (851), ATM (837) and online satisfaction (838). They’re also apparently been very successful with millennials — which is notable, given this group is the fastest growing customer segment.
This marks the sixth year in a row that large financial institutions have seen a rise in customer satisfaction — and there’s reason to believe the big-bank comeback will continue.
“Based on their current trajectory, the country’s largest retail banking institutions are expected to achieve a substantial lead in overall customer satisfaction vs. Midsize and Regional banks by 2020,” Jim Miller, senior director of banking at J.D. Power, said in a press release. “This trend puts Midsize banks most at risk. Regulatory costs have made it difficult for them to invest in strategies to compete with larger rivals, and unless they take proactive steps to change course, we expect this to result in consolidation in the Midsize bank marketplace.”
J.D. Power’s study measures customer satisfaction with banks in 11 regions. You can find the highest-ranked bank in your region below.
- California Region: U.S. Bank (808)
- Florida Region: TD Bank (837)
- Mid-Atlantic Region: Northwest Savings Bank (819)
- Midwest Region: UMB Bank (821)
- New England Region: Bangor Savings Bank (842)
- North Central Region: Huntington National Bank (830)
- Northwest Region: U.S. Bank (798)
- South Central Region: Trustmark National Bank (855)
- Southeast Region: United Community Bank (841)
- Southwest Region: Arvest Bank (843)
- Texas Region: Frost Bank (862)
Remember, if you’re considering switching banks, you may want to give your credit a perusal. Some financial institutions use consumer bureaus like ChexSystems or Telecheck and will not allow you to open a new bank account if you have any bounced checks or unresolved bills reported to one of them, while others will not open an account if you have any negative history listed. You can check whether you have a file with these companies for free (once each year) by going to Chexhelp.com and Telecheck’s website. You can also check your credit generally for unresolved accounts or unpaid collection bills each year by pulling your credit reports on AnnualCreditReport.com or by viewing your free credit report summary, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.
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