When investing in the retail banking sector, there is a useful metric to follow that cannot be found on any list of fundamental indicators: customer satisfaction. J.D. Power and Associates annually conducts its U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study to investigate customers’ satisfaction with their primary financial institutions, assessing the impact of that satisfaction on customer loyalty and retention.
The study focuses on more than 200 of the largest banks throughout the United States. It is published in quarterly waves. The results are broken down by 11 geographic regions: California, Florida, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, New England, North Central, Northwest, South Central, Southeast, Southwest, and Texas.
Each bank’s score was based on customer satisfaction for six factors: channel activities; communication and advice; convenience; new account opening; problem resolution; and products and fees. Channel activities include seven sub-factors: assisted online service; ATM; branch service; call center service; IVR/automated phone service; mobile banking; and online banking. Customer satisfaction is measured on a 1,000-point scale.
Here are the banks with the highest retail customer satisfaction scores by region in 2019, according to J.D. Power and Associates:
California Region: Chase Bank
New York City-based JPMorgan Chase is the parent company of Chase Bank, one of the largest commercial banks in the United States. It came in with a customer satisfaction score of 823 in California.
Florida Region: Chase Bank
In 2019, Chase Bank was also named Florida's top choice, scoring a 847 in the U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study.
Mid-Atlantic Region: Union Bank and Trust
Union Bank and Trust is headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska, and earned a score of 856 within the Mid-Atlantic region. Union Bank and Trust was founded in 1917 and operates in only two states, with 32 branches in all.
Midwest Region: Wintrust Community Bank
Nudging last year's winner, First National Bank of Omaha, down to second place in the 2019 study, Wintrust Community Bank finished with a score of 845. Its parent company is Wintrust Financial Corp.
New England Region: Bangor Savings Bank
Bangor Savings was founded in 1852 and serves customers primarily in Maine. Its score of 872 led the New England region in J.D. Power's ranking.
North Central Region: City National Bank (W.V.)
Headquartered in Charleston, WV, City National Bank has nearly a hundred locations across West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, and Ohio. The company earned a customer satisfaction score of 842 in the North Central region.
Northwest Region: Banner Bank
Banner Bank provides services in commercial real estate, construction, residential, agricultural and consumer loans. Headquartered in Walla Walla, Washington, Banner earned a score of 870 to top the Northwest region.
South Central Region: Arvest Bank
Arvest Bank offers banking, mortgages, investments, and credit card services via 16 community banks in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri. Arvest Bank, headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas, earned a score of 841 in the 2019 survey. Arvest Bank Group's CEO and chairman is Jim Walton, son of the late Sam Walton.
Southeast Region: TD Bank
TD Bank is a member of TD Bank Group and is a subsidiary of the Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD). TD Bank earned a score of 858 in the Southeast Region.
Southwest Region: MidFirst Bank
MidFirst Bank is based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and is privately owned. The firm offers a full range of personal, business, trust, and mortgage banking products. MidFirst earned a score of 859 in the J.D. Power survey.
Texas Region: Frost Bank
San Antonio-based Frost Bank is a subsidiary of Cullen/Frost Bankers, Inc. Frost started in the back of a small mercantile store, where founder T.C. Frost provided Texans with the supplies they needed to prosper on the frontier. The bank earned a top score of 884 in the Texas region.