Consumers are hungry for help on how to manage their personal finances, both in the form of general guidance and specifically tailored advice, and they prefer to receive advice in person, and not through digital channels.
Most large and regional banks, though, aren’t giving consumers what they want, according to a new survey conducted by J.D. Power.
The survey polled 3,841 customers in the U.S. who received any type of financial advice from their primary bank during the past 12 months. When it comes to dispensing that advice, the survey found that, of the 17 large and regional banks it included, only five are doing an above-average job of meeting customers’ needs.
JPMorgan Chase ranked No. 1 in customer satisfaction, with a score of 829 out of a possible 1,000 points. Rounding out the top five were Regions Financial, M&T Bank, Bank of America and Capital, all of which had scores above the industry average of 804.
Citizens Financial Group was ranked last with a score of 777. (See chart for a complete list of the rankings.)
A majority of consumers polled by J.D. Power said they would rather get tips from their primary bank inside a branch, rather than over their smartphone or laptop. These bank customers said that when they received advice from their bank in the form of electronic communications, they did not feel as if their needs were adequately addressed.
“It’s just proving the point that the richness of interpersonal communications is really good,” said Paul McAdam, senior director of the banking practice at J.D. Power.
The findings seem to confirm banks’ belief that branches still have a role to play even as foot traffic continues to decline as consumers to migrate to digital channels for everyday transactions.
A majority of consumers polled by J.D. Power — about 58% — said that advice received in person completely met their needs. In comparison, only 45% of those who received advice digitally were satisfied that their needs were met. The figure dropped to 33% for advice sent by email.
The survey found that consumers want suggestions on very specific situations, McAdam said. They include how to pay for school tuition, the best way to finance a home renovation, and a detailed analysis of an individual’s specific financial situation. But they also want quick tips on things like how to improve their financial situation.
Still, most banks could be missing the boat completely. In another recent survey of bank customers, only 28% of respondents said that they could “recall recently receiving any type of financial advice” from their primary bank, according to J.D. Power.