New Report Finds Customer Satisfaction with Nation’s Leading Retail Banks Surges Amid COVID-19


New Report Finds Customer Satisfaction with Nation’s Leading Retail Banks Surges Amid COVID-19

J.D. Power’s Retail Banking Satisfaction Study Highlights Retail Banks’ Successful Digital Transformation


WASHINGTON, DC – Consumer Bankers Association President and CEO Richard Hunt issued the following statement after J.D. Power released the results of its 2021 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, which found banks’ efforts to strengthen communication, offer digital products and services and support their communities led to a surge in customer satisfaction: 


“The survey results underscore our industry’s unwavering commitment to navigating the “new normal,” especially in the wake of one of the most uncertain times in our nation’s history.


“When COVID-19 hit communities last March, the banking industry joined together to support struggling small businesses and consumers during their time of need. Banks offered increased flexibility to support customers and enhanced online banking services, with bankers working around the clock to close the digital divide. 


“CBA is proud of banks’ efforts to support their communities throughout the pandemic, immediately mobilizing programs to fast-track the move to digital banking. Consumers are ready to conduct their banking online and the nation’s banks have adjusted accordingly, with some of the largest banks investing about $10 billion per year into technology. As we look ahead, the nation’s leading retail banks will continue to serve as a source of strength to meet the evolving needs of the American people.”


As J.D. Power Senior Director, Banking Intelligence Paul McAdam noted:


“If you’re looking for a case study in how to improve engagement and deliver a superior customer experience in the face of massive disruption, look no further than the U.S. retail banking industry’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. […] The fact that satisfaction has improved most among customers who say they feel worse off financially speaks volumes to the proactive efforts many banks launched to support their customers in a period of heightened financial stress. Moreover, banks’ ability to deliver consistently through digital channels has helped reassure branch-centric holdouts and ease the large-scale transition to digital-only banking.”


Key findings from the study:


  • Customer satisfaction improves amid flight to digital: “Prior to the pandemic, digital-only customers accounted for just 30% of the retail bank customer base, which routinely had the lowest levels of customer satisfaction of any channel. This year, 41% of customers are digital-only and satisfaction improves most among customers who have high levels of digital engagement with banking products and customer service.”


  • Banks step up efforts to help financially insecure customers: “Nearly one-fourth (24%) of retail bank customers say they are worse off financially than they were last year—up from 14% in the 2020 study—and just half of customers say they are satisfied with their current financial condition. Despite the financial setbacks, overall customer satisfaction with retail banks improves this year, led by a significant 21-point gain (on a 1,000-point scale) in satisfaction among those who feel worse off financially.”


  • Majority of customers believe their bank supported them during pandemic: “Nearly two-thirds (63%) of retail bank customers say their banks completely supported them during the pandemic, which drove an 86% increase in likelihood of reusing that bank; a 60-point increase in Net Promoter Score®1; and a 48% decrease in problems or complaints. Specific bank actions that customers associate with support during the pandemic are waiving charges/fees; supporting the community; offering additional advice/guidance; and providing late payment forgiveness.”


  • Big banks continue to close gap: “Big national banks are on track to surpass regional and midsize banks in overall satisfaction after achieving big gains in customer satisfaction with problem resolution; products and fees; communication and advice; and assisted online service. Midsize banks have historically been the leaders in customer satisfaction, with a 17-point gap in satisfaction vs. big banks as recently as 2018. Today, that gap is just 4 points.”




The complete rankings are available here and detailed information about the study is available here.





About the Consumer Bankers Association:

The Consumer Bankers Association represents America’s leading retail banks. We promote policies to create a stronger industry and economy. Established in 1919, CBA’s corporate member institutions account for 1.7 million jobs in America, extend roughly $4 trillion in consumer loans and provide $275 billion in small business loans annually. Follow us on Twitter @consumerbankers.