The largest banks are doing a worse job than their smaller counterparts at giving timely, thorough responses to e-mail inquiries.

Many of the top 100 U.S. banks, even those with sophisticated Web sites, were found to be mediocre at best and nonresponsive at worst to customers' e-mail inquiries, according to a study released Wednesday by Amacis, a Belfast, Northern Ireland, company that sells e-mail-sifting software; Roper Starch Worldwide; and Market Trace. "The largest Internet-savvy banks didn't do as well as we expected, and the smaller banks with less Internet presence are doing well," said Jeffrey Peel, vice president of global marketing at Amacis.

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