Stalled out at a low customer satisfaction score of 69, Bank of America is the only big bank that still falls short of its prerecession satisfaction level, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s 2014 results for commercial banks. For two decades, the ACSI has tracked customer satisfaction with checking, savings, and loan services for retail banks, many of which have undergone mergers. The research shows that smaller institutions consistently provide their customers with a much better experience than big banks.
Over the past 10 years, none of the measured banks come close to matching the numbers set down by the aggregate of all smaller banks, averaging 80 on ACSI’s 100-point scale. Since 2005, the highest score among the four banks is 76—earned in 2013 by JPMorgan Chase.
That said, the trend in 2014 is negative overall, as the industry retreats 2.6% driven by a 4% drop for smaller banks and a 3% decline for JPMorgan Chase. Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America are unchanged compared with a year ago, but the lack of improvement for BoA keeps it well behind its rivals. And while most banks now match or exceed their prerecession ACSI scores, BoA remains 5% below its benchmark of 73 from 2008.