Banking

Survey: Bank of America still lags rivals in customer service despite gains

Bank of America ranked higher for customer service in seven of 11 U.S. regions, according to a closely-watched J.D. Power survey released this week. But the 2016 report also shows Bank of America continues to lag some of its largest rivals in customer satisfaction.
Bank of America ranked higher for customer service in seven of 11 U.S. regions, according to a closely-watched J.D. Power survey released this week. But the 2016 report also shows Bank of America continues to lag some of its largest rivals in customer satisfaction. Getty Images

Bank of America has improved its standings on a closely watched annual survey of customer satisfaction with the largest U.S. banks. But the Charlotte-based bank still lags scores of some of its big peers.

Compared with last year, Bank of America ranked higher in seven of the 11 regions on J.D. Power’s 2016 study released this week. But the latest report also shows Bank of America is trailing some of its largest rivals, even as satisfaction with the biggest banks on the survey rose for the sixth consecutive year.

For another year, Bank of America earned below the average score in every region, while Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase & Co. earned above the average in most regions.

Bank of America climbed in the rankings in California, Florida, the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Southeast, Southwest and north central parts of the U.S. It posted its biggest gain in the Mid-Atlantic – rising to 10th-from-last place from third-from-last place in 2015.

Bank of America slipped to last place in Texas, down from its third-to-last ranking previously. Its ranking was unchanged in New England and the south central U.S., as well as the Northwest, the other market where it ranked last.

Across all 11 regions, Bank of America posted higher customer-satisfaction scores, on which the rankings are based.

“While we are pleased that our scores improved in all 11 regions surveyed, there is more we are doing to improve our customers’ experience with us,” Bank of America spokeswoman Betty Riess said.

The survey measures satisfaction in six areas, including fees, problem resolution and product offerings. This year’s report is based on responses of more than 75,000 customers at roughly 130 banks.

In seven regions, Bank of America’s scores were rated “about average.” In the remaining four regions, the bank earned the lowest rating.

According to J.D. Power, overall satisfaction with the biggest banks has significantly improved as they’ve enhanced digital offerings and been most successful at satisfying millennials, their fastest-growing customer segment.

Satisfaction with midsize banks dropped for the first time since 2010, J.D. Power said, noting that regulatory costs have made it difficult for those banks to compete with larger rivals.

Deon Roberts: 704-358-5248, @DeonERoberts

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