(Corrects score for JPMorgan)
By Rick Rothacker
Dec 11 JPMorgan Chase & Co jumped to
first in a U.S. customer satisfaction survey, as its three
biggest rivals, including perennial leader Wells Fargo & Co
, posted a decline in their scores.
JPMorgan, the largest U.S. bank by assets, saw its score
climb nearly 6 percent from last year to 74 on a 100-point
scale. But smaller banks and credit unions continued to record
higher numbers than all large banks, according to an annual
report by the American Customer Satisfaction Index.
Big banks have drawn the ire of customers for receiving
bailouts during the financial crisis and for rolling out higher
fees in recent years. Still, the survey found that all of the
large banks, except for Bank of America Corp, have seen
their scores match or eclipse pre-financial crisis levels.
"The gap now from Bank of America to everyone else is pretty
big," said David VanAmburg, managing director of the ACSI. High
fees were the biggest concerns of its customers, he said.
The survey rates satisfaction with banks' checking, savings
and personal loan accounts. ACSI, which was founded at the
University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, interviews
about 70,000 customers each year for its surveys of 230
companies in 47 industries.
Wells Fargo had held the top spot among big banks for 11
years, counting eight years for Wachovia, which Wells bought in
2008. Its 3 percent drop to 71 is a concern for the bank, but
not a major one unless a downward trend develops, VanAmburg
said. Over the years, the bank has touted its No. 1 ranking in
the survey, even as it was completing a major merger.
Meanwhile, Chase's score showed the bank is boosting the
reliability and quality of its banking experience, producing
increases in the past two years, VanAmburg said. Citigroup Inc's
score fell 4 percent to 70, while Bank of America's fell 3
percent to 66.
Smaller banks as a group stayed flat with a score of 79 in
this year's survey, while credit unions fell 6 percent to 82.
Credit union service suffered amid an influx of new customers
who departed large banks, VanAmburg said.
JPMorgan said the survey was consistent with the bank's
findings. Wells Fargo said its internal surveys have showed
customer satisfaction at an all-time high, but added the bank is
always looking to improve customer experience.
Bank of America customer experience executive Allen Jones
said the bank takes feedback from its customers seriously.
"Better, more consistent service is central to our efforts, but
we know we have more work to do," he said.
Citigroup said it had not seen the report, but is focused on
providing customers with an "enhanced banking experience."
(Reporting by Rick Rothacker in Charlotte, N.C., and David
Henry in New York; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and Gerald E.