WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 20 October 2011 — Despite the doom and gloom in the banking news media, overall satisfaction among small business banking customers has increased from 2010, returning to 2009 levels, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Small Business Banking Satisfaction StudySM released today.
Small business banking customer satisfaction in 2011 averages 717 on a 1,000-point scale, up from 711 in 2010. The study, now in its sixth year, measures small business customer satisfaction with the overall banking experience by examining eight factors: product offerings; account manager; facility; account information; problem resolution; credit services; fees; and account activities. Satisfaction in 2011 increases across all factors, except for fees.
“Contrary to popular belief that most customers are unhappy with their bank, small business banking customers are more satisfied than last year across nearly all aspects of the banking experience,” said Michael Beird, director of banking services at J.D. Power and Associates. “In addition, credit availability has increased, indicating greater stability and a return to some degree of normalcy within the small business banking environment.”
M&I Bank ranks highest in small business customer satisfaction with an overall score of 768 and performs particularly well in account activities. Huntington National Bank follows in the rankings with a score of767, and Branch Banking & Trust (BB&T) and M&T Bank rank third in a tie with 764.
“Although M&I Bank has a higher incidence of maintenance fees than other banks ranked in the study, customers clearly perceive value for their money,” said Beird. “While much of the negative press surrounding banks focuses on fees, it’s more important to focus on what really matters—providing a highly satisfying banking experience and ensuring that customers are seeing the value in any fees they pay.”
Beird offers the following tips for small business customers when selecting a bank:
- Before opening a new account, look for a bank that conducts a needs assessment that explores current and future banking requirements. Make sure the bank explores both business and personal needs, if appropriate.
- Fully understand account fees and credit terms. Discuss any questions, concerns or changes with the assigned account representative. Shop around at other banks to compare terms and fees based on current activities.
- Test the bank’s contact center. See if the automated phone system offers clear and simple options for common account inquiries. Determine if live support is readily available 24/7 or during the times your company may need help.
- Verify that your bank has the online tools your company needs, including clearly presented information that is easily navigated, access to at least one year of account history and online images, and availability of online financial counseling, tips and advice.
- Ensure problems and complaints are handled efficiently and effectively. Identify the point of contact for follow up and/or resolution, and know the chain of command for escalation in the event you’re not satisfied with the answers or resolution you receive.
The 2011 U.S. Small Business Banking Satisfaction Study is based on nearly 7,000 responses from financial decision-makers at small businesses with sales volume from $100,000 to $10 million. The study was fielded between August and September 2011.
About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company providing forecasting, performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions. The company’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.
About The McGraw-Hill Companies
Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies is a leading global financial information and education company that helps professionals and students succeed in the Knowledge Economy. With leading brands including Standard & Poor’s, McGraw-Hill Education, Platts energy information services and J.D. Power and Associates, the Corporation has approximately 21,000 employees with more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2010 were $6.2 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com.
 Effective July 2011, BMO Financial Group, the parent company of BMO Financial Corp., acquired Marshall & Ilsley Corporation (M&I). As a result, M&I Marshall Ilsley Bank, M&I Bank N.A. and The Harris Bank N.A. have since merged into Harris N.A.
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