Survey: Banks lead credit unions in customer service satisfaction

Credit unions continue to lose ground with consumers, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s most recent finance study. Credit unions’ score has dropped by one point to 75—falling behind banks for the fourth consecutive year. Banks now surpass credit unions in nearly every service category as rated by U.S. consumers, according to this year’s survey. On the ACSI’s 100-point scale, credit unions now trail banks by three percentage points. Banks’ overall score (78) has remained relatively unchanged over the last four ACSI reports.

The 2021-2022 study, which was based on more than 13,500 customer interviews, covers banks, credit unions, financial advisers and online investment. According to researchers, rapid membership growth fueled by the pandemic and ongoing industry consolidation could be affecting credit union customers, though the credit union industry’s traditional area of strength in the annual survey—in-person service—has remained consistent.

“Credit unions continue a long, slow decline in member satisfaction that is now in its fifth consecutive year,” said Forrest Morgeson, assistant professor of marketing at Michigan State University and director of research emeritus at ACSI.

National banks climbed 1% to an ACSI score of 77, followed by super regional banks, up one percentage point to 76. Citibank has taken sole possession of first place among national banks after inching up one percentage point to 78. Bank of America rose one percentage point to 77 to meet Chase (unchanged) in second, according to the researchers. Wells Fargo took last place for the sixth consecutive year despite advancing three percentage points to 76. Capital One expanded its lead among super regional banks, surging four percentage points to 81. PNC Bank rose three percentage points to 78, followed by U.S. Bank, which rose three points to 77.

Four super regional banks scored 76: Citizens (up three percentage points), Fifth Third Bank (up three percentage points), Regions Bank (up one percentage point), and TD Bank (unchanged), the research found. Bank of the West debuted near the bottom of the category with an ACSI score of 74, same as KeyBank, which rose percentage point year over year, ACSI said. Truist was the only bank to lose ground—due largely to the branding conversion following the SunTrust-BB&T merger—with the bank’s satisfaction dropping three percentage points to 73.