Most consumers are happy with the support they have received from their bank during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to new research from global analytics software provider FICO.
The survey adds to a growing body of evidence that US banks have been successful in their support of customers through the difficulties of 2020. It follows a recent JD Power customer satisfaction survey that rated Capital One, Chase Bank and PNC as the three best national banks.
However, the financial impact of the pandemic on household finances meant almost a quarter of respondents were not confident about their finances remaining stable over the next three months, the FICO survey found.
The survey of 3,000 US adults found that 84% of US bank customers were satisfied with the level of support their banks provided during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since the start of the pandemic, 42% of consumers said they had contacted one of their financial services providers to help manage repayment of existing credit commitments. The majority related to credit cards, but mobile phone and vehicle financing were also high on customers’ priorities.
Michael Magaard, vice president of customer communication services at FICO, said: “2020 has been a challenge for all, with a large percentage of consumers struggling to pay their bills. Banks and financial service providers play a critical role in helping their customers navigate these uncertain times.
“It’s critical that lenders are ready to respond quickly to customers across multiple channels, while providing flexible payment options – otherwise they risk losing them.”
Many banks offered payment holidays and fee waivers, and most consumers were able to arrange a payment holiday within two to three days of the option being announced.
Communication was a key driver of customer satisfaction, the survey showed. Most respondents did not have difficulty contacting their provider to arrange a payment holiday or manage their existing debts.
When banks proactively contacted their consumers about their repayment situation, 78% of consumers said that the bank did it in the way that was most convenient for them.
Anna Hamilton, vice president of customer lifecycle management at FICO, said that investments made into customer communications had “proven to be invaluable in fostering goodwill and customer loyalty”.