Tags: customer | satisfaction | banks | JPMorgan

Survey: America's Big Banks Actually Gaining Ground in Public Opinion

By    |   Wednesday, 11 December 2013 07:31 AM

America no longer hates big banks, despite their role in the 2008 economic collapse and plenty of other customer-unfriendly antics, according to a new customer satisfaction survey cited by MarketWatch.

The study from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) found customer satisfaction is now at a six-year high.

The primary reason? Banks in the "too big to fail" set are erecting customer-friendly websites that are generally easy to use and convenient.

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"More and more banks are creating good websites, and more consumers are using them," says David VanAmburg, managing director at ACSI.

As a result, fewer consumers have to wait in line at brick-and-mortar branches and deal with customer service personnel to do their basic banking.

Overall bank customer satisfaction has increased 1.3 percent this year, rising to 78 out of 100 points. Among individual banks, JPMorgan Chase scored 76, Citigroup scored 74, Wells Fargo tallied 72 and Bank of America scored a 69 — all up noticeably from 2012.

"What's surprising about this climb in customer satisfaction is that it comes amid a flurry of bad press," MarketWatch noted.

Earlier this year, JPMorgan agreed to pay a whopping $13 billion fine stemming from its mortgage-related practices. Similar settlements with the government are in the works or have already been cut with other banking behemoths. In addition, checking account fees at banks hit a record high in 2013.

Despite their gains with the public, big banks are still second to their smaller brethren in customer hearts' if not their deposits.

Credit unions and smaller banks scored an 85 and 83, respectively, out of 100 in the ACSI survey — considerably higher on average than the mega-banks did. Credit union membership in the United States is on track to hit a fresh high for the third year in a row.

A new government finding shows three of the nation's biggest banks — Bank of America, JPMorgan and Citigroup — have again violated the terms of the $25 billion national mortgage settlement, which was designed to end shoddy mortgage practices, according to The Washington Post.

While bank stocks have easily outperformed the broader stock market this year, Morgan Stanley estimates banking sector equities will gain another 20 percent in 2014, Barron's reported.

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America no longer hates big banks, despite their role in the 2008 economic collapse and plenty of other customer-unfriendly antics, according to a new customer satisfaction survey cited by MarketWatch.
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Wednesday, 11 December 2013 07:31 AM
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