Inflation, economy cause shift in bank customer accounts

The percentage of retail bank customers with $10,000 or more in primary bank deposit balances has declined 16 percentage points in the past year, according to a new survey on banking satisfaction by J.D. Power. Persistent inflation and economic uncertainty are the likely causes for the shift, which has resulted in more customers reallocating funds in the hunt for higher interest rates or better savings programs, the firm said.

The proportion of customers with more than $10,000 in deposit balances at their primary bank declined to 28% from 44% a year ago, according to the survey. At the same time, the proportion with less than $1,000 in deposit balances surged to 30% from 17% year over year. The survey also found that 30% of primary bank customers have shifted, on average, 37% of their deposits to a secondary financial provider. Still, customers who have received financial advice or guidance from their primary banks in the past 12 months were significantly more likely to have opened a new account with the bank, with 47% having opened an account if they found the advice effective in meeting their needs.

The survey also examined bank branch use, finding that overall branch usage has grown to just below pre-pandemic levels. Nearly three-fourths (72%) of customers said they plan to use their bank’s branches at the same rate in the coming year, while 38% of customers described branches as essential. Customers under age 40 were more likely to say they expect to see their branch visits increase in the next 12 months (21%) compared to customers over age 40 (12%).