SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Bank of the West announced today that it scored highest in ath Power's sixth annual Small Business Banking Study of nearly 40 banks across the United States. The Bank was the only financial institution to receive 80 points out of 100 nationally, and regionally scored an 82, which was 10 points higher than the average score for the study's 12 other West Region banks. The study is based on more than 800 in-person bank branch visits by prospective small business owners across the nation.
The ath Power Small Business Banking Study™ revealed what small business owners expect from their banking relationships, their interest in technologies like mobile banking and their opinions of banks' products and customer service. Bank of the West scored particularly high marks in the categories of "services information sharing" and "knowledge of products and services." In addition, 96 percent of the participating small business owners said they would become a customer, compared to 79 percent for all other banks in the study.
"Based on the results from our study and the impressive growth they have obtained in this segment, it is evident that Bank of the West continues its focus in providing knowledgeable bankers who deliver an exceptional experience to small business prospects and clients," said Frank Aloi, CEO of ath Power. "They have made it a priority to understand the unique needs of small business owners and to deliver the solutions that this segment requires to successfully manage and grow their businesses. These efforts are clearly paying off."
"I couldn't be more thrilled about Bank of the West earning first place honors in ath Power's Small Business Banking study," said Michelle Di Gangi, Executive Vice President of the Small and Medium Enterprise Banking Division at Bank of the West. "Over the past few years, we've made significant investments in our technology, product development, processes and, most importantly, our people – to create an integrated, branch-centered 500-member strong team. We work with business owners to meet all their banking needs, from business financing, cash management and fraud protection to succession planning and personal banking. The ath Power ranking demonstrates that what we've created here is what matters most to small business owners."
A significant finding from this year's study was the impact of a bank's mobile banking offering. Sixty-six percent of small business owners said they would be likely to switch banks for one with a superior mobile offering. Although individual banks weren't cited in the study's mobile category, Bank of the West's own research has shown that its small business customers are avid users of its award-winning mobile platform. The Bank is most known for the Quick Balance feature – a first-of-its-kind app for viewing up to five accounts without logging in, as well as two other key differentiators offered to small business customers:
- Dynamic mobile customer messaging, which enables the bank to communicate real-time, contextual and personalized messages to small business customers within the Bank of the West mobile app and mobile browser experience, and
- Up to $15,000 and three tiers of mobile deposit limits for small business owners
"We pride ourselves on being a preeminent destination for small businesses," said Andy Harmening, Senior Executive Vice President, Retail Banking at Bank of the West. "Our small business team – some of the most experienced and tenured bankers in the country – personify what the study's participants said they want in their banking partner: a trusted, knowledgeable advisor and active listener who puts the needs of their client first."
About the Study
Now in its sixth year, The ath Power Small Business Banking Study™ is a detailed assessment of the sales and service processes, product and service offerings, delivery methods and customer experiences of the nation's premier institutions within the small business banking target market. The full report is available through www.athpower.com/home/smallbusinessbanking.php.
About Bank of the West
Founded in 1874, $65 billion-asset Bank of the West (www.bankofthewest.com), member FDIC and equal housing lender, offers a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services. The bank operates more than 700 retail and commercial banking locations in 19 Western and Midwestern states. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 80 countries with nearly 200,000 employees.
SOURCE Bank of the West