Big banks make headway in customer satisfaction

The recent Prime Performance 2011 Bank and Credit Union Satisfaction Survey revealed that while small banks and credit unions (CUs) are still most trusted by consumers, big banks are making progress in customer satisfaction and loyalty.

The recent Prime Performance 2011 Bank and Credit Union Satisfaction Survey revealed that while small banks and credit unions (CUs) are still most trusted by consumers, big banks are making progress in customer satisfaction and loyalty.

More than 8,000 U.S. bank and CU customers were polled by the client experience advisor group, which revealed that CU customers rated their overall net satisfaction score at 89 percent, with small bank customers narrowly behind at 88 percent. Large banks finished at 80 percent - 2 percent below the industry average.

However, the industry average increased by 5 percent over 2010 numbers, with large banks such as Chase and Bank of America increasing at 12 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

"While credit unions and community banks enjoy high satisfaction and customer loyalty, their larger competitors are closing the gap," said Prime Performance President Jim S. Miller.

Hesitation for returning to big banks remains, however, as respondents believe many of these institutions put their interests ahead of the customers - i.e. Bank of America's recent attempt to administer a $5 monthly debit card fee.

The Herald Sun reports that according to a Choice survey, Australia's big four financial institutions also rank below CUs and online banks, as many still believe they receive better customer service at small banks.