Among the four big national banks, one — Citibank — gets more kudos from customers than the others, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).
Citibank took top customer satisfaction honors in the ACSI’s recent Finance, Insurance, and Health Care Report, beating out Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo.
ACSI says Citibank surged into first place thanks to its commitment to streamlining retail operations and focusing on digital banking. Customers report that they are getting improved value from Citibank, including the fees they pay, ACSI says.
All four national banks either achieved record-high customer satisfaction scores or were within 1 point of their high-water mark.
Surprising trends emerge
The survey also revealed some surprising trends.
For starters, consumers now report higher satisfaction with banks than with credit unions. This is the first time that banks have trumped credit unions in the history of the ACSI survey.
In addition, large banks — which long have been criticized for being impersonal and for charging high fees — now are emerging as the preferred choice for some consumers.
ACSI says consumers are focused on mobile banking like never before. Bigger banks are attractive to these consumers because large banks have the resources to roll out the latest and greatest digital platforms, and to keep apps up to date.
According to ACSI:
“In the face of the widespread adoption of mobile banking, the personalized service that is the hallmark of smaller banks and credit unions may no longer be as important to customers, especially a younger demographic.”
ACSI also notes that as big banks spend more to improve their technology — for example, Chase budgeted $10.8 billion for technology in 2018 — consumers are more satisfied with these banks.
Of course, cutting-edge technology should not be the only consideration when choosing a bank. Good old-fashioned customer service might be more important to some customers, making smaller banks or even credit unions a good choice.
As we have written:
“Community banks are generally owned and operated locally, not owned by mega-bank holding companies. Many community banks pride themselves on keeping fees low and on making loans within the local community.”
However, we also caution that “small” doesn’t always mean better, either. So, if you are looking for a new bank, check out “10 Tips for Finding a Bank With More Bang for Your Buck” before making your decision.
Do you keep money with one of the big national banks? Share your experience in comments below or on our Facebook page.