December 19, 2012

For the third year in a row USAA topped ath Power Consulting's Ideal Banking Study, a customer experience appraisal of banks across the country, according to a statement released by the bank announcing the study's findings yesterday. The study, now in its fifth year, found that banking customer satisfaction overall rose compared to last year's results. Among the customers surveyed, 41% said that they are satisfied overall with their primary bank, up from 37% last year, ath - a research and strategy firm - said in the statement.

Although community banks and credit unions generally ranked higher than the biggest institutions, ath said that it found marked improvement larger banks in customer satisfaction. Chase led the way among the top four U.S. banks with a 14 point increase in customer satisfaction, according to the statement. USAA ranked the highest among all banks in overall satisfaction.

[See Related: USAA Tops Mobile Banking App UX Study ]

The survey's results pointed to certain products and services that banking customers have designated as differentiating factors in choosing a bank. Those products and services included free checking, online banking and direct deposit. Mobile banking also saw a big uptick in adoption among customer surveyed, rising from 21% last year to 36% this year, indicating that mobile banking is fast becoming one of those most desired services

The study also found that 10% of those surveyed had switched their primary banking institution in the last year. The top reasons for switching, according to the statement, included new or raised fees, dissatisfaction with customer service, home relocation and account errors. Customers of the top 20 banks are three times more likely to switch banks, the study found. Customers said that they are most willing to switch to a new bank if it offered loyalty or rewards programs, reduced checking fees or special offers for new customers.

For this year's study ath surveyed 3,113 banking customers across the country online to evaluate their satisfaction with their primary bank.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jonathan Camhi is a graduate of the City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism, where he focused on international reporting and interned at the Hindustan Times in Delhi, ...