NEW YORK -- Credit unions and community banks, with a few notable exceptions, outrank large banks in customer satisfaction and loyalty, a new survey found.
Informa Research Services Senior Vice President Paul Lubin noted that credit unions and smaller banks overall received high marks in customer service and loyalty. "Yet," he added, "a few of the large banks are clearly leading the way in providing exemplary branch customer service. These notable exceptions among the largest banks are Washington Mutual, SunTrust and Wachovia, which outrank all except for community banks and credit unions." The Informa Research Services survey also found that Citizens and Bank of America were also among the "Top-20 institutions that do well in garnering customer commitment."
The 2006 survey shows that in "aggregate, credit unions out-perform all, including community banks, in terms of generating high 'satisfaction' and 'likelihood to stay.'" Lubin added, "while community banks achieve the same satisfaction numbers as credit unions, fewer of their customers rated them highest for 'likelihood to stay.'"
The survey of customers of mid-sized regional institutions demonstrated a "distinct drop both in satisfaction and likelihood to stay," compared with the 2005 Informa Research Services Survey. "The most likely explanation for this phenomenon is simply that mid-sized institutions do not offer the superior service one might expect from a community institution...and they are too small to truly compete head-to-head with an institution of nationwide or wide regional presence," said Lubin. He emphasized that the branch experience carries great weight with customers.
Informa surveyed 2,863 consumers, representative of U.S. households, nationwide. --firstname.lastname@example.org