July 12, 2012

BB&T, Capital One and Synvus were the top performing banks on financial services strategy firm ath Power Consulting's 2011-12 small business banking report.

According to the Boston-based firm, those three banks were the only financial institutions to achieve an overall evaluation score above 80 --out of a potential 100. BB&T achieved the highest customer evaluation, scoring 85 points.

The results were based on nearly 900 audits performed by small business owners at 39 banks across the U.S., according to ath.

Among the key findings were that that when bankers took the time to determine the business owner's needs before mentioning the bank's offerings, more than 4 out of 5 business owners, or 83 percent, indicated that they would become a customer of that bank. When they did not, only 42 percent said they would consider becoming a customer.

“Asking questions about someone’s business is a significant driver of whether he or she intends to become a customer of a bank,” said Frank Aloi, ath Power CEO, in a prepared statement. “In fact, the highest rated banks were those whose employees determined a prospect’s needs before making any product recommendations.”

Results also showed that credit products were discussed with 56 percent of the business owners. When bankers did speak about these products, whether the customer needed them or not, it dramatically improved their standing. More than 9 out of 10 (91%) indicated they would seek financial advice from that banker in the future and would become a customer of the bank.

[Related Content: The Way to Small Business Banking Customers' Hearts]

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as ...