Banks’ efforts to deliver Paycheck Protection Program loans to their small business customers and help them navigate the forgiveness process drove overall customer satisfaction levels to record highs in 2021, according to the latest J.D. Power Small Business Banking Satisfaction Study released today. Small businesses gave their banks a satisfaction score of 829, up from 822 last year.
Among small firms that applied for PPP loans through their primary banks, satisfaction scores were at 853—32 points higher than customers that did not apply for a PPP loan. Satisfaction further climbed to 869 among small businesses that had gone through the loan forgiveness process. J.D. Power found that small business customer satisfaction was “significantly higher” when the bank assigned a dedicated account manager to the business—859, compared to 786 among small businesses that did not have an account manager.
The survey also highlighted the significant toll the pandemic has taken on small businesses. Only 52% of businesses said they were financially stable and had access to ample capital and credit to meet their needs, while 26% were financially stressed and 23% were financially vulnerable. Another 28% said COVID-19 “continues to have a severe or major effect on their business.”
The study also ranked banks by satisfaction in four U.S. regions. The highest-ranked banks in each region were Bank of America (Midwest), Chase (Northeast) and TD Bank (South). Chase tied with Bank of the West in the West region.