BOSTON, May 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- USAA topped the rankings, while smaller regional banks and credit unions showed continued strength in the 2011 ath Power Ideal Banking Study™, released today.
ath Power Consulting, a leading financial services market research and strategy firm, today announced the results of its annual assessment of retail banking customer experience. The survey of nearly 3,200 U.S. retail banking consumers revealed that smaller regional banks and credit unions continue to deliver better service satisfaction and significantly reduced problem incidence than their super-regional and national bank counterparts. On average, only 37% of customers are satisfied overall with their primary banking institution, down from 39% last year. USAA ranks at the top with 74% overall satisfaction by its members. Only a handful of regional banks captured above par satisfaction ratings from their customers; they are Huntington Bank, Capital One Bank, TD Bank and PNC Bank.
Now in its third year, ath Power's Ideal Banking Study™ shows that factors such as fees and convenience have become consistently more important over the past two years, however, customer service and personal relationships still remain strongholds as the key drivers of customer needs when establishing or maintaining a financial relationship.
"During the different stages of the financial crisis, customers sought stability and an institution that they could trust," explains Frank Aloi, CEO of ath Power Consulting. "As the initial shock of the crisis subsided and the prominence of bank fees amplified, consumers reset their banking priorities and expectations. Consumers today are placing the most emphasis on quality customer service and favorable rates and fees when choosing a primary bank."
Findings show that as many as 1 in 5 customers report a high likelihood of changing primary institutions in the near future, and, 50% more customers at top-20 banks rate themselves as "likely to switch" than banking consumers at community banks and credit unions.
Additionally, the ath Power study identified mobile banking as a developing standard. The number of banking customers performing multiple transactions each week on a mobile device is now equal to the number of customers completing multiple transactions per week with a Teller, according to study results. While it is still not a mainstream channel, mobile banking continues to show signs of future acceptance - 32% now consider it either a "must have" or list it as making their banking experience ideal (up from 24% in 2010).
About the Study
ath Power's study reveals and directly ranks the most sought-after elements in a consumer banking relationship, as well as unveils how U.S. banks are performing within the competitive landscape of retail banking. Survey respondents rated their primary banking institution on a myriad of topics including customer service, product offerings, loyalty programs, cross-sell attempts and problem resolution dynamics.
For more information, please visit http://www.athpower.com/home/idealbanking.php. Custom reports are also available.
About ath Power Consulting
ath Power is a premier provider of customer experience solutions for the financial services industry, offering survey research, audit and mystery shop studies, competitive intelligence, market analyses, employee development and strategic brand planning. ath Power owns the largest database of financial services field representatives in the nation, and executes the largest number of proprietary banking audits in the industry. ath Power delivers increased sales results and heightened customer service -- the cornerstones of differentiation in a competitive marketplace. For more information, please visit www.athpower.com.
SOURCE ath Power Consulting