The Agency Insider with Linda McGlasson

Last in the Hearts of Their Customers

Last in the Hearts of Their Customers

Forrester's annual Customer Advocacy ranking grades about 50 financial services firms in the U.S. 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."

HSBC's ranking is 16, meaning only 16% of respondents said they agreed with the statement. This is the lowest customer advocacy score ever reported in the United States, down 10 percentage points from HSBC's 2009 score of 26.

Overall, the report shows customers of the biggest banks in the United States are the least likely to believe their financial institution does what's best for them. 

Overall, the report shows 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. The report lists the bottom seven of this year's rankings:

  • Bank of America: 33%
  • Chase: 31%
  • Capital One: 29%
  • TD Bank/Commerce: 28%
  • Fifth Third Bank: 27%
  • Citibank: 26%
  • HSBC: 16%

On the other hand, Wells Fargo/Wachovia did better than other large banks. About 40% of its customers say they believe the bank does what is best for them. In the past, Wachovia has done better in the rankings than other big banks. As in previous years credit unions overall rank much higher than the big banks, with 70% of their customers saying their financial institution puts their interests first. One reason for this may be the different operating model that credit unions have -- they are owned by their members and focus on customer service. The top four rankings:

  • Credit Unions: 70%
  • USAA: 64%
  • ING Direct: 46%
  • Wells Fargo/Wachovia: 40%

Regional banks including PNC, U.S. Bank and BB&T came in with scores similar to Wells Fargo/Wachovia.

This report should make everyone out there ask the question, "Are we on the side of the customer, or are we answering to our shareholders alone?"

Balancing the bottom line with the interests and concerns of customers has never been more crucial for all in financial services.



About the Author

Linda McGlasson

Linda McGlasson

Managing Editor

Linda McGlasson is a seasoned writer and editor with 20 years of experience in writing for corporations, business publications and newspapers. She has worked in the Financial Services industry for more than 12 years. Most recently Linda headed information security awareness and training and the Computer Incident Response Team for Securities Industry Automation Corporation (SIAC), a subsidiary of the NYSE Group (NYX). As part of her role she developed infosec policy, developed new awareness testing and led the company's incident response team. In the last two years she's been involved with the Financial Services Information Sharing Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), editing its quarterly member newsletter and identifying speakers for member meetings.




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