Royal Bank of Canada ousted Toronto-Dominion Bank from the top spot in a J.D. Power consumer banking satisfaction ranking for the first time, ending a decade-long winning streak for the country's second-largest lender by assets.
Royal Bank captured the highest grade among Canada's five biggest banks with 765 points on a 1,000-point scale, according to a study released Thursday. Toronto-Dominion, which had held the No. 1 position since J.D. Power began the survey 11 years ago, dropped to second with 761 points.
"Royal Bank has been steadily closing the gap on TD over the last five or six years," Paul McAdam, senior director of banking services at J.D. Power, said in a telephone interview from Chicago. "It has been a gradual thing, indicating consistent focus, consistent execution."
The ranking was based on seven factors: product, self-service, personal service, facilities, communication, financial adviser and problem resolution. Royal Bank, Canada's largest lender by assets, had the highest ratings of the big banks in four categories, earning top grades for consumers' understanding of products and effectiveness of communicating, as well as for personal service and financial advice, McAdam said.
"Acknowledgement like this tells us we are on the right track," Jennifer Tory, Royal Bank's group head of personal and commercial banking, said in a statement.
Bank of Montreal, Canada's fourth-largest lender, climbed to third place with 760 points, up from fifth in 2015, while Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce remained in fourth with 754 points. Bank of Nova Scotia, the third-largest lender, slid to fifth with 753 points. The study was based on responses from more than 13,000 Canadian consumers surveyed online in April and May.
"While the news is disappointing, we knew the chances of us repeating these wins again and again would be a challenge in such a competitive market," Daria Hill, a Toronto-Dominion spokeswoman, said in a statement. "Our overall score increased this year, which shows just how high the bar has been set."
Overall customer satisfaction at the five banks improved despite rising fees — an issue that caused results to tumble in 2015. Consumers' views toward checking account offerings, automated teller machines and mobile banking all gained this year, according to the survey. The report showed that 34 percent of customers use mobile banking compared with 27 percent last year and 20 percent in 2014.
J.D. Power also ranked six mid-sized Canadian banks, rating Scotiabank's online lender Tangerine No. 1 for the fifth straight year with 840 points. President's Choice Financial ranked second, followed by National Bank of Canada, ATB Financial, Laurentian Bank of Canada and HSBC Holdings Plc's Canadian unit.