Research Finds Majority of Big Bank Customers Say They are Banking on Mr. Wrong


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May 28, 2009—Austin, TX—The most fundamental of American’s money relationships are with their banks, where a new study finds almost two in five Americans are unable to classify their current bank as “Mr. or Ms. Right,” with dissatisfaction higher among younger adults and those with most of their money in large banks.

“Some relationships can lead in unhealthy directions without us even realizing it. The sad thing is, once it’s over you realize you should have packed up and left months ago,” said Gabe Krajicek, Chief Executive Officer of BancVue, the company that sponsored the research. “Unfortunately in the case of banking relationships, people don’t believe that there is a financial institution that can offer them what they really want—great products and great service—leading to paralysis.”

Paralysis is of particular note among bank account holders with most of their money in large banks, such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America. Almost one in two (49%) big bank customers claim their current bank is far from “the one.” They’re more likely to see their banks as partners who are uncommitted or clingy. This dissatisfaction is also high among Americans ages 18-29, nearly half (45%) of which say they have yet to find their Mr. or Ms. Right of financial institutions.

What is most telling, however, is that two-thirds (67%) of bank account-holding Americans admit they wouldn’t hesitate to consider a new banking relationship. This was confirmed by a recent J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Retail Banking Satisfaction Study which found that only 35 percent of customers are highly committed to their retail bank in 2009, compared with 37 percent in 2008 and 41 percent in 2007. This marks a two-year decline of 6 percentage points in customer commitment since the 2007 study. Again, according to the BancVue study, Americans with most of their money in large banks are antsy for a change – three in four (75%) would be willing to make a change, vs. 60 percent of those with their funds elsewhere.

“Apparently, bigger isn’t better,” continued Krajicek. “With 70% of Americans’ deposits sitting in big banks, it may be time for people to heed the warning signs of their unhealthy relationship.”

So what would make Americans break up with their banks? Just a few slight improvements, it seems. Less fees (39%) and higher interest rates (32%) top the list, with better banking products (29%) and ATM refunds (29%) also in demand.

“Americans are fishing in the wrong pond. Mr./Ms. Right may actually be the guy or girl that has been right in front of you—the one you take for granted when you pass them each day,” says Krajicek. “And, in banking vernacular, Mr./Ms. Right is community financial institutions.”

Selected community banks and credit unions are now meeting American’s banking dream of a perfect financial mate by providing the customer-centric service they are known for and offering a product that doesn’t just take, but gives back. Customers receive a free checking accounts with CD-like yields, no monthly fees and nationwide ATM fee refunds when they do simple activities, including accepting eStatements, utilizing direct deposit, accessing online banking, and increasing their debit card usage. All of these things help save the financial institutions money, and unlike the big banks that keep it for themselves, these financial institutions are returning to their account holders in the form of higher yields. provides consumers a one-stop-shop for the best high-yield checking accounts among community banks and credit unions. The site enables consumers to search for a free, high-yield account by rate, distance from their home, and best annual return based on average account balance and ATM usage and then open the account online.

“Now, those discontent with their banking relationship don’t have an excuse not to ‘break up’ with their bank,” concludes Krajicek.

About BancVue
BancVue is the leading provider of innovative products, marketing, and consulting solutions to community financial institutions nationwide. Serving over 600 community banks and credit unions around the country, BancVue’s solutions allow these institutions to compete and win in the war against the mega banks and net banks. Consumers benefit from the development and implementation of BancVue’s innovative products, including REWARDChecking®, a free high-yield checking account specifically designed for community banks and credit unions. For more information on BancVue, visit

The BancVue Survey was conducted by Kelton Research between April 14th and April 21st, 2009 using an email invitation and an online survey. 924 American bank account holders ages 18 and over responded to the survey. Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the U.S. population ages 18 and over. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

Contact: Dan Mahoney
[email protected]
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