Brand Finance, a global brand valuation and consultancy firm, this year rolled out market research on U.S. bank brands to find out how customers’ opinions have changed at a time of major disruption to the industry.
The 2016 average trust score for U.S. banks was 64.9%. This compared with 77% for Chinese banks, 60.5% for U.K. banks and 47% for Spanish ones.
“As global banks retreated after the Great Recession, the traditional banking model has changed,” Brand Finance’s chief executive, David Haigh, said in a statement.
Haigh said prevailing trends suggest that fintechs and niche “challenger banks” are eating into big banks’ profits and luring their customers away with better quality service at lower prices.
“Traditional banks tend not to be set up as quick innovators,” he said. “Instead, they compete for customers’ trust, and our research indicates which banks are the most trustworthy.”
The research was based on data gathered last November from online questionnaires involving 19,000 people in 22 markets. Only U.S. respondents were questioned about U.S. banks.
They were first asked which bank they were a customer of and whether they were likely to switch to a competing bank brand. Bank brands with the highest proportion of customers who “might” or were “very likely” to switch were deemed to have the least loyal customers, whereas banks with a majority “might not” or were “very unlikely” to switch were seen to have the most loyal customers.
Respondents were separately asked whether they considered particular bank brands to be trustworthy.
Here’s how four U.S. banks ranked with their customers in the Brand Finance research.
Leading the Race
JPMorgan Chase emerged as the most popular U.S. bank brand, with 15.8% of respondents saying they would switch to Chase if they had to switch banks.
According to Brand Finance, the bank’s retail division has stayed relatively scandal-free, in contrast to its investment division counterpart whose sullied reputation has not recovered since 2008.
It said Jamie Dimon, the bank’s chief executive, skillfully steered the bank through the financial crisis, and since his appointment in 2006, the bank’s assets have risen by upward of 100% and earnings have increased threefold.
In July, Chase posted quarterly net income of $7 billion in the three months ended June 30.
Dimon has had a major positive effect on customer loyalty and trust. Brand Finance noted that his controversial statements on social media, such as those he made on Bitcoin and President Donald Trump, led him to “trend” globally, helping to bring the brand into the public eye and capture the attention of millennials, who were found to be the most likely age bracket to switch to Chase.
Moreover, Chase is openly planning both to invest in and collaborate with fintechs, a huge enticement for younger customers. In May, Dimon said the bank was following through on its promise to give clients a free, automated investment service as part of a future bundle of digital-banking products.
Chase’s focus on sustainability is also likely to attract potential customers. The bank’s “Invested in Detroit” campaign is designed to revitalize the community’s local housing and job market.