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BofA, Citi Named Best of Big-Bank Websites

Bank of America and Citibank have the best websites among the six largest U.S. banks in 2010, according to an assessment published today by Forrester.

The banks evaluated in the report, titled 2010 U.S. Bank Public Web Site Rankings, were judged by checking account user experience, content, functionality and online application. Bank of America and Citibank scored a 70 out of 100 possible points based on Forrester's methodology.

Following the top two were Chase, Wells Fargo, PNC and U.S. Bank

"No one overall hits it out of the ballpark," said Brad Strothkamp, principal analyst and author of the report.

BofA and Citi led in areas such as navigation, trust value and online applications, according to the report. As a whole, Forrester found online applications to be a strength among the top-six U.S. banks' websites, while overall website presentation — page elements, legibility and space usage — were generally a weakness.

Strothkamp looks at retail websites as a model for driving sales, as well as cross-promoting products and branding. Because traditional banks originally built their websites around services, they are still somewhat behind retail in those areas, he added.

While traditional banks have some catching up to do on the web, Strothkamp expects things to change fast.

"I think over the next 12 to 18 months there's going to be an explosion, he said. "We're going to see redesigned websites every six to nine months as they try to figure this out."

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