Winners: Credit unions, regional banks
Big banks don't generate a lot of consumer love. There's a reason. Smaller is better in the retail banking industry, according to customers. J.D. Power breaks up the rankings of retail banks by region, and the big banks, without fail, didn’t fare too well (Bank of America, for instance, ranked last or second to last in customer satisfaction in 10 out of 11 sections of the US). The best showing from a major bank was Chase, which ranked second in overall customer satisfaction in the state of Florida. The top spots in the 11 US regions covered are littered with smaller regional banks: Rockland Trust Co., in New England, Arvest Bank in the Southwest and South Central portions of the US, and Commerce Bank in the Midwest.
Credit unions have banks beat big time. The American Consumer Satisfaction Index tracks customer contentment across 47 industries, and credit unions received the highest-ever composite score for any industry in 2011. The ACSI annual report from December 2011 suggests that regulations and rising bank?? fees are causing customers to move away from the big banks in favor of regional banks and credit unions.
Sources: J.D. Power and Associates, Bloomberg Businessweek, American Consumer Satisfaction Index