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Wells Fargo making progress with customers: J.D. Power


Improved communication about fees and deposit products may be helping Wells Fargo put its tarnished past behind it, according to a recent survey from J.D. Power.

Wells Fargo showed the greatest year-over-year improvement among eight national banks ranked in J.D. Power’s national banking satisfaction study, released Thursday. Though Wells Fargo didn’t top the list, the San Francisco bank climbed 9 points to a score of 828 on a 1,000-point scale. It ranked sixth overall, ahead of rivals Bank of America and Citibank.

For Wells Fargo and others, increased communication with customers helped improve overall satisfaction, said Paul McAdam, J.D. Power’s senior director of banking services.

“Across the study, customers are reporting receiving higher levels of communication more frequently from their banks regarding the bank’s products and services. Customers also cite higher incidences year over year of receiving advice from these large banks,” he said. “We know in banking that a fair amount of that communication is going to be information on fee structures and product benefits, and that helps to raise satisfaction.”

Among all the banks included in the survey, TD Bank earned the highest score, 851, knocking JPMorgan Chase out of the top spot. Chase and PNC Financial Services Group both earned a score of 846, and Capital One scored 838.

McAdam said that a major factor tipping the scales in favor of TD Bank was convenience. TD Bank, which markets itself as “America’s Most Convenient Bank,” has branches in every state along the East Coast and its branches generally stay open later than those of other banks.

While overall satisfaction with the industry ticked up two points to an average score of 834, the industry as a whole lost points on branch availability and convenience, he added. That could explain why Citibank, which has a significantly smaller branch footprint than most of its rivals, ranked last in customer satisfaction among the eight largest retail banks.

Because of the way J.D. Power conducted the survey, TD Bank was not included for the past two years. This year’s survey looked at banks with at least $200 billion in U.S. deposits, while the past two years counted banks with at least $250 billion in deposits. TD Bank had roughly $259 billion in deposits at the time the survey was conducted, while Capital One had $249 billion. The firm lowered that threshold this year so it could include both in the survey.

J.D. Power said that it excluded customers of BB&T and SunTrust from this survey, but expects to include customers of the newly named Truist Bank in the 2020 survey.



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