Study: Most Americans Looking for Advice from Their Banks as Financial Stress Rises

The vast majority of Americans, 83%, are looking for advice or guidance from their primary retail banks as their financial stress has increased during the pandemic, according to a recent study from J.D. Power. The survey of 12,000 U.S. consumers conducted in July, August and September found that stress levels have gone up for 44% of respondents in the prior few weeks and that only 58% say they can cover a $500 emergency. Thirty-three percent in September said they do not have cash to cover living expenses, and 38% said they have seen at least a 25% decline in household income since the pandemic began.

Consumers said they are receiving more information from banks’ digital channels like email, apps or the internet, and they are increasingly using that advice. In addition, they are increasingly looking to their banks for practical advice and guidance to help manage spending, budgeting and saving. The survey report also noted that when banks effectively provide advice or guidance, it can have a positive effect on metrics such as overall satisfaction, Net Promoter Score and likelihood of reusing a brand.

Among customers of the top 10 U.S. retail banks, Bank of America and Capital One tied for the top rating when it came to providing the highest level of support for their customers’ financial health.