The Bigger the Bank, the Worse the Customer Service

×

The Bigger the Bank, the Worse the Customer ServiceThe biggest bank in America isn't the one you might think.

Industry monitor SNL Financial recently revealed that JPMorgan Chase (JPM) knocked out longtime rival Bank of America (BAC) for the top spot, measured by both total assets and the amount of those assets that take the form of customer deposits. (Major financial powerhouses like Morgan Stanley (MS) and Goldman Sachs (GS) didn't make the cut because they're not your run-of-the-mill depository banks.)

But is bigger better? Not when it comes to customer service.

A second survey released this month by the American Customer Satisfaction Index revealed which of these banks score highest with the customers who make those deposits.

Bank
SNL Survey Rank
Total Assets
Total Deposits
ACSI Score (out of 100)
JPMorgan Chase
1
$2.27 trillion
$1.09 trillion
70
Bank of America
2
$2.22 trillion
$1.04 trillion
68
Citigroup (C)
3
$1.94 trillion
$851 billion
73
Wells Fargo (WFC)
4
$1.30 trillion
$895 billion
73
US Bancorp (USB)
5
$330 billion
$223 billion
Not rated
Source: American Customer Satisfaction Index and SNL.

Right off the bat, you can see that the "biggest bank in America" isn't necessarily the "best bank in America."

JPMorgan Chase may boast the most assets in the land, and the most customer deposits -- but these deposits aren't landing in Chase accounts because of the service. More likely, people are banking at Chase by default -- because it's the bank they see on the corner, rather than the bank they necessarily would like to see.

Scoring just a 70 on the ACSI survey, Chase offers lower-quality service to its customers than either Citigroup or Wells Fargo (73), despite the fact that, judging from their total deposits, these banks lag Chase in popularity.

Credit Unions Rule

The deeper you dig into the survey, the bleaker the situation looks. According to ACSI, all of the top four biggest banks offer lower-quality service than the "average" bank in America, which customers give a score of 75.

Moreover, banks in general score lower on customer satisfaction than other financial institutions. On ACSI's survey, the category of "all other" financial institutions received an average ranking of 79, while credit unions in particular scored 87 -- a record high for the category.

There is one comparison by which banks are held in a positive light: Another survey found that Americans like their banks a whole lot more than they like politicians.

(For a look at a financial institution that is truly beloved, check out this recent profile of the Bank of Cattaraugus, an old-fashioned community bank that is the smallest in New York State.)


Motley Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of, nor is he short, any companies named above, but The Motley Fool owns shares of Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America. The Motley Fool owns shares of and has created a covered strangle position on Wells Fargo.


Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Intro to Retirement

Get started early planning for your long term future.

View Course »

Timing Your Spending

How to pay less by changing when you purchase.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

53 Comments

Filter by:
isthisbullschit

if you've ONLY ever been with ANY Bank, you'd be 10x as happy with a credit union.... I can do an electronic deposit on my home computer, mail my check and I get the credit the SECOND I HIT ENTER. As long as the check is post dated with in 2 weeks of the electronic deposit date, no problem. And when it's not, they take the time to call to let you know you they didn't receive it... they don't start bouncing stuff, and let you find out via snail mail, after they've racked up thousands in daily overdraft fees, a week and a half later. They find out what is going on and then work with you to resolve it. I don't even have to go to an ATM, or the post office... the mail man picks the deposit it right up from MY mailbox. I don't even have to pay for the postage, as they send me postage paid, pre-printed envelopes (to Ensure correct address is used, and prevent lost checks.)

I can use ANY 7-11 Atm for NO FEE, or any OTHER Credit Union ATM for no fee. I haven't paid any fees to my credit union in over 10 years, yet they are profitable, and return dividends to my account. I haven't even had to set foot in one of the branches in years. My payroll is autodeposited, and any cash I need comes to me for free from any of millions of ATM's around the world. Why the "F" would I pay a FILTHY GREEDY BANK to access MY MONEY? And when I travel overseas, I don't get hit with MASSIVE Exchange Rate Penalties and Excess fees. They merely convert the transaction from the foreign currency to USD$ and debit my account. NO BS INTERNATIONAL RIP OFF FEES.

There are no pigs at the trough doing anything and everything they can, to suck up profits out of MY Pockets. AND THAT it itself is why CREDIT UNIONS REMAIN PROFITABLE. They invest MY money well, take only what is required to run the credit union, and RETURN PROFITS to depositors.

They pay AND TRAIN their staff well...they give GOOD benefits, they RESPECT Their employees, and teach them to respect and provide SERVICE to their customers. They are loyal & long term employees. They are NOT PI$$ED off at their employer, and taking their rage and frustrations out on customers, like MOST Bank Employees do.

BANKS SUCK... CREDIT UNIONS RULE!

December 29 2011 at 3:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
isthisbullschit

BANKS ALL SUCK... they are **ALL** FOR PROFIT, charge OUTRAGEOUS FEES, rip you blind, steal from you. They constantly violate credit first/debit last and debiting the lowest amounts first type laws, in order to create huge fees, and extra fees. (IE: If a person has $100.00 in the account and they write 98 checks for $1.00, and 1 check for $101.00 the bank is required to PAY the $1.00 checks before a $101.00 check. That would result in ONE overdraft fee. BUT they don't, they process the $101.00 check, causing the account to be in a negative... and then bounce 98 more checks at $39- each (The current maximum allowed by law.)

THIS IS ILLEGAL, but people don't know it, and they won't sue because it cost too much and no lawyer would take the case.

AND, IF The customer made a $225.00 deposit the same day those checks were presented for processing, the bank is REQUIRED BY LAW to process that credit first, and then NONE OF the checks would bounce. (Which is as it should be.) BUT, they don't do that either... they process however that want to, so they can cause the most number of fees to the account holder. ALL those fee's go straight into the bonus funds for the pigs at the trough at the top.

CREDIT UNIONS are BY LAW, NON PROFIT ONLY. ALL profits are returned to the depositors in the form of interest paid etc, and lower interest rates on loans etc.... They follow the laws WAY MORE CLOSELY than banks, because they not only have to answer to the banking commission, they can loose their non profit status and be closed if they don't. They are NOT THERE TO RIP OFF CUSTOMERS like BANKS ARE IN BUSINESS TO DO.

MANY Credit Unions are opening their doors to the public. They are easy to find by checking google and bing. AND If you have a family or friend who belongs, they are USUALLY allowed to 'sponsor' you, and therefore get you in. Fees are minscule compared to banks when there IS an overdraft... and most will automatically transfer funds **with no fee**, if you also have a 2nd account (ie:savings) with them, to PREVENT any overdraft fees. NO BANK WILL DO THAT!

BANKS ARE TOO BIG, THEY WIELD TOO MANY THREATS AND THEY HAVE DESTROYED OUR ECONOMY. ANYONE WHO STAYS WITH THEM IS HELPING TO DESTROY THEIR OWN FUTURE AND THAT OF THEIR CHILDRED AND GRANDCHILREN... AND THE PIGS AT THE TOP ARE LAUGHING ALL THE WAY TO THEIR TAX SHELTER COUNTRIES ON THEIR PRIVATE JETS. THINK ABOUT IT.

BANKS SHOULD BE OUTLAWED, THE CRIMINALS AT THE TOP ALL JAILED, AND NON PROFIT CREDIT UNIONS SHOULD BE THE ONLY ONES ALLOWED TO HANDLE **OUR** MONEY.

December 29 2011 at 2:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Robin

Kick the big banks in the @zz and take all their profits back. Shut them down.

December 28 2011 at 11:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
westy666

THis article just proves even more....AMERICA MOVE YOUR MONEY! Move your money accounts,credit cards, car loans, mortgages to a LOCAL CREDIT UNION or a LOCAL NOT-NATIONAL BANK!

The only "cure" for these 2BIG2FAIL banks created by BUSH/GOP legslation, is to take away their "bigness".

Be active in the effort to SAVE AMERICA, help the recovery by MOVING YOUR MONEY...start tomorrow.

December 28 2011 at 11:19 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to westy666's comment
Peter Diemand

This isPeter's wife, Elaine Btown-Diemand. As elaine Brown I hve been banking with Chase sinceI was 19 years old and opened my first business. Many years, many changes later, Iam still here and find help with courtesy whenever I have a need.Most recently, after I changed my account to Madison Ave. & 96th St. I had the occassion t call John Meliska re: a safe deposit box not available at his branch.Whatever he did, i had a call back from the young lady at 79th & Mad. with availavability andappointment.
Don't tell me that Chase ignores its clients

December 28 2011 at 10:17 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Peter Diemand's comment
isthisbullschit

Elaine, you are CLEARLY THE EXCEPTION to the rule. CHASE BANK SUCKS WORSE than Bank of America iin the ENTIRE WEST. HORRIFIC HEINOUS SERVICE period.

December 29 2011 at 3:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
vlady1000

Chase is very good. US Bancorp is super great with mortgages. Citi stinks on mortgages (all automated phone, fees for everthing, make paying off mortgages more work than it needs to be).

December 28 2011 at 9:39 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
keithrico47

Big or small they are all out to screw ya.

December 28 2011 at 9:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gfgarv

Soon, the biggest bank in the world will be the cofee can bank with it's several locations around your back yard. That's where it will be safest.

December 28 2011 at 8:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
daffhouse

We have 4 accounts at Chase. We get excellent service, but we are at a suburb branch in Seattle area. We had a CC stolen on the Net, Chase was right on it and cancelled the $4000 of charges and had us new cards (debit/credit) in 3 days. So, what problems have others had?

December 28 2011 at 8:17 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Joanie Jaye

They are so big yet they are attempting to fight me in court to take back the unemployment I am getting.

December 28 2011 at 7:52 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply