Big Banks Improving in Reducing Number of Problems Experienced and in Problem Resolution

Facilities and Routine Interactions Offset Decreasing Satisfaction with Fees

Highlights from our 2012 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study(SM)

  • Overall retail banking customer satisfaction has improved by one index point in 2012 to an average of 753 (on a 1,000-point scale) from 2011.
  • When looking at banks in aggregate by relative size, satisfaction with big banks is 743, a two-point increase from 2011, while satisfaction with midsized banks is up four points to 781. Regional banks experience a slight dip in overall satisfaction, to 759 from 760 in 2011.
“Big banks continue to lag the other banks in overall satisfaction, but they have made significant improvements in reducing the number of problems customers experience and in problem resolution, specifically resolving problems on first contact,” said Michael Beird, director of banking services at J.D. Power and Associates.
  • While consumers are growing increasingly dissatisfied with fees, banks are able to offset it with higher satisfaction in other areas, such as banking facilities, account activities and problem resolution.


  • Satisfaction with fees has declined to 609, down significantly from 625 in 2011 and from 656 in 2010.
  • Monthly maintenance fees have the most significant negative impact on fees satisfaction this year—more so than in the 2011 and 2010 studies—while fees assessed for ATMs and debit cards have less negative impacts on fees satisfaction.
“The negative reaction to fees reflects customers’ irritation about paying for something they didn’t have to pay for in the past,” said Beird. “It also reflects a lack of their complete understanding about what they’re getting for those fees. Customers understand why they’re being charged for ATM and debit card use, but are not clear on what they’re getting for monthly maintenance fees, which drives the bigger drop in satisfaction with those fees.”

Banking Facilities:

  • Customer satisfaction with bank facilities—branch and ATM locations, appearance and hours of operation—has improved this year to 779, compared with 771 in 2011 and 765 in 2010.
  • One behavior helping increase satisfaction with the branch is that 76 percent of customers say they are greeted by a bank employee when they enter the bank, an increase from 68 percent in the 2010 study.
  • Customer satisfaction with the reliability and ease of using ATM machines has increased to 815 from 795 in 2011.
The study measures satisfaction among banks in 11 regions. Study results by region are: Continue reading ›
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