J.D. Power has issued the release for the 2019 U.S. Retail Banking Advice Study that measures customer satisfaction with retail bank-provided advice and account-opening processes that includes six of the largest banks as well as seventeen regional banks. The study found that large banks are increasing market share when it comes to financial advice, while also showing a drop in branch transactions.
Among the findings by the study:
• Customer satisfaction with retail bank advice rises, driven by big banks: Overall customer satisfaction with the advice provided by a primary retail bank increases by 15 points to 819 (on a 1,000-point scale) in 2019 from last year. The increase is driven by big banks, which see an 18-point gain, compared with a 6-point gain among regional banks. Satisfaction with advice at big banks now stands at 826 compared to 800 at regional banks. Big banks not only lead in satisfaction with digitally delivered, but also with face-to-face advice. This has implications for regional banks positioning themselves as more trustworthy given their perceived knowledge of the customers.
• Digital advice in focus: No surprisingly, 58% of bank customers say they would like to receive financial advice digitally
• Investment-related advice resonates most: Among the most common types of advice retail bank customers seek are investment-related advice (41%); quick tips to help improve their financial situation (39%); retirement-related advice (38%); advice to help keep track of spending and household budgets (33%); and saving for a large purchase (27%)
• Advice satisfaction directly linked to trust, retention and advocacy: Overall, 58% of customers who have received advice say they have acted on it. Among retail bank customers who are highly satisfied with the advice provided by their institution, (overall advice satisfaction score of 850 or higher), 86% say they “definitely will” reuse their bank for another product
• Transparency is critical in new account opening, a common venue for delivering advice: When new accounts are opened, transparency about customer benefits and fees is critical. Overall satisfaction with the account opening process increases 161 points when benefits and features are explained completely and 144 points when fees are clearly explained.
The top banks in terms of rankings were Bank of America, PNC, and Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo has obviously made up some ground since its recent troubles.