Customers of the biggest banks in the United States are the least likely to believe their financial institution does what’s best for them as opposed to what’s best for the bottom line, according to a new report from Forrester Research.
The report, Forrester’s annual Customer Advocacy rankings, ranks nearly 50 financial services firms in the United States by the percentage of each firm’s customers who agree with the statement: “My financial provider does what’s best for me, not just its own bottom line.” The results are based on a survey of about 4,500 consumers.
The bottom seven of this year’s rankings, first to last, are Bank of America, Chase, Capital One, TD/Commerce, Fifth Third, Citibank, and in last place, HSBC.
Among Bank of America customers, 33 percent agreed with the statement above, while 31 percent of Chase customers agreed, 29 percent of Capital One customers agreed, 28 percent of TD/Commerce Bank customers agreed, 27 percent of Fifth Third Bank customers agreed and 26 percent of Citibank customers agreed.
Among HSBC customers, only 16 percent said they agreed with the statement, the lowest customer advocacy score ever reported in the United States, down 10 percentage points from HSBC’s score last year and in line with other recent similar poor rankings of other HSBC units.
An HSBC spokesman declined to comment on the survey, since he hadn’t seen it yet.
To put the rankings in perspective, large banks have generally been at the bottom of the list since the survey was initiated seven years ago, and many of the banks have alternated between the bottom spots year to year, said a Forrester vice president, Bill Doyle, who wasn’t aware of anything particular HSBC has done recently that would make its score so low. Last year, for instance, Capital One was at the bottom with 22 percent of its customers agreeing with the statement. In fact, the more customers a banking institution has, the lower its customer advocacy ranking is likely to be, according to Forrester.
Why the poor rankings for the big banks? “Part of it is that the banks are preoccupied with their bottom line. They are public institutions who are in business to make money for their shareholder and inevitably, that shows to customers,” Mr. Doyle said.