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20,000 consumers cannot be wrong …

Ernst & Young has just completed a massive survey of over 20,000 consumers worldwide to see what they think about their banks. Half of the consumers are from Europe, but the rest cover the globe with a strong showing in Latin America.

The results are summarised in a 56-page report which you can download from their website, but here’s the core headlines.

How confident are you in your bank?

Globally, 44% of customers say their confidence in the banking industry decreased in 2010

Within Europe, the UK (63%), Germany (61%) and Spain (58%) have seen the largest falls in customer confidence

However, in emerging markets trust has risen, with 75% of respondents in India, for example, saying their trust in banks increased last year

One of the big reasons for loss of confidence in developed economies is the issue of bank bonuses, with the banking industries of the UK and US in particular seeing a huge drop in confidence levels – 80% and 69%, respectively – citing this as one of their reasons for a loss of faith in their banks.

Have you ever changed your bank?

Globally, 36% of customers have changed their main bank in the past, and 7% of customers are planning to leave their bank

Indian and Chinese customers are more likely to move in the future, with 11% and 13%, respectively, thinking of switching their banks

Attrition in mature markets is slightly lower than the global average, with 5% of US customers, 5% of German customers and 6% of UK customers saying they plan to leave

48% of customers around the world are planning to change banks because of general levels of service, and 43% because of price.

Other factors include product offerings, the proximity of branches and a lack of trust in the existing bank relationship. Almost a quarter of respondents (22%) who have moved their main bank attribute their decision to a loss of trust.

Marketing does make a difference by the way, with brand strength cited as the main reason for choosing a bank by 39% of those surveyed.

Globally, 81% of customers hold two or more products with their main bank, with more doing so in Spain, Belgium, France, Canada and South Africa.

Do you get good service from your bank?

43% of customers say they get no, or only occasional, personal attention from their main bank

Maybe that’s why we prefer to deal with machines at banks with internet banking (83%), ATMs (79%) and branches (79%) being the channels with the highest levels of customer satisfaction

Call centers are not popular, with only 52% of customers satisfied with their services and 30% never using them

The personal attention received in emerging markets seems to be significantly better, with 81% of Indian respondents saying they receive good or very good personalised service

When dissatisfied customers are asked how they would like to see channels improved, 40% want branches to deliver better service and 39% want them to be more available.

43% of disaffected customers want better access to ATMs, a third want websites that are easier to use, and 46% are demanding higher quality service from call centers.

Globally, 42% of customers never use mobile banking (yet)


About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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  • As one banker said to me “we don’t give a monkeys about customer satisfaction, each time a customer leaves us and goes over the road one of there’s comes over to us”
    And robotic call centres are terrible.
    Bankers bonuses are a bad incentive. It encourages gambling with OUR money. For each winner there is a loser. The gambling banker is the ultimate winner. Think about it.

  • Chris Yaldezian

    The survey and results were in line with what we are seeing, but focused on today. What makes this even more powerful is breaking out the emerging Gen Y demographic of 18 to 30 years old. The balance of NOW (internet and mobile) and personal (advice in branches) is even sharper and they are willing to leave their current bank to find it.