Prime Performance 2011 California Bank and Credit Union Survey

Golden 1 Credit Union leads major banks in California in customer experience according to the Prime Performance 2011 California Bank & Credit Union Survey released today.  Based on a survey of 2,353 bank customers and credit union members in California the report shows results for eight major banks and credit unions, including; Bank of America, Bank of the West, Chase, Citibank, Golden 1 Credit Union, U.S. Bank, Union Bank and Wells Fargo.

Customer experience rankings are based on the Prime Experience Index (PXI).  The PXI is a single metric showing how banks and credit unions are performing on delivering a superior customer experience.  At the most basic level, banks need to meet their customers' needs (meets needs) and deliver service that satisfies their customers (satisfaction with service).  Next, banks need to deliver experiences that create loyal customers who are likely to come to the bank first for their future financial needs (repurchase intent) and recommend the bank to others (likely to recommend).  By looking at four measures; satisfaction with service, likely to recommend, repurchase intent and meets needs, a clear picture of the customer experience emerges.  While these measures tend to be significantly correlated, not one of them accurately measures the customer experience on its own.  The Prime Experience Index (PXI) is comprised of these four components.  More information on the PXI and how it is calculated can be found at

Golden 1 Credit Union ranked first in all four questions that make up the PXI, while Bank of America had the lowest scores on each question.  These questions are based on the net score, which is the percent of positive responses minus the percent of negative responses.  For satisfaction with service, this is the percent of customers who are satisfied minus the percent who are dissatisfied.

Credit unions are the clear customer experience winners in our survey.  Golden 1, the only ranked credit union, topped all named institutions. If we had ranked the 'Other Credit Unions' category it would have tied Golden 1 for first place.  While Bank of the West and Union Bank have strong customer experience scores, overall, banks have work to do to catch up with their credit union competitors.

Doing what is in the Customer's Best Interest

In California, 55% believe their bank is doing what is in the customer's best interest and 13% feel the bank is not acting in the customer's best interest, for a net score of 42%.  Seventy-three percent of members at Golden 1 Credit Union say the credit union is looking out for the member's best interest and only 4% believe they are not, resulting in a net score of 69%.  This leads all named institutions, although slightly below Other Credit Unions (net score of 74%).  Bank of the West had the second highest net score at 66%.  Chase and Bank of America scored the lowest, with net scores of 25% and 18% respectively and each bank had 21% of customers feeling the bank is not doing what is in the best interest of the customer.



Customers think Union Bank provides the friendliest service in California with 86% of customers saying the representatives are friendly and only 1% saying they are unfriendly.  Customers rate Bank of America the least friendly, with 63% of customers believing the representatives are friendly and 6% rated as unfriendly.

Channel Satisfaction

Union Bank customers are very satisfied with their branch experience.  Eighty-seven percent of Union Bank customers said they are satisfied with their experience in the branch and 0% dissatisfied.  Golden 1 Credit Union also scored well on branch experience with 89% of members satisfied and 3% dissatisfied.  Bank of America had the lowest branch scores with 73% satisfied and 8% dissatisfied.

Golden 1 Credit Union leads in satisfaction with phone representatives, followed by Union Bank.  Citibank and Bank of America customers are least satisfied with their experience with phone representatives.  Golden 1 also leads in satisfaction with automated phone interactions, followed by U.S. Bank.  Wells Fargo and Bank of America have the lowest satisfaction with their automated phone systems.  Golden 1 and Wells Fargo have the highest satisfaction with ATMs, while ATM satisfaction is lowest at Bank of America and Bank of the West.  Customers at Union Bank have the highest satisfaction with internet banking.  While mobile banking usage is increasing, it is only used by a small percentage of customers.  Statewide, 25% of customers said they have used mobile banking. Only Bank of America, Chase and Wells Fargo had a sufficient number of respondents using mobile banking to receive a valid ranking.  Thirty-three percent of Chase customers say they use mobile banking and have the highest level of satisfaction, well above the state average.  Wells Fargo, with 31% of customers using mobile banking also scored above the state average in satisfaction. Bank of America, at 35% usage has the lowest level of satisfaction for mobile banking.

Problems and Complaints

The Prime Performance survey asked customers if they had any problems or complaints during the last twelve months.  Statewide, 18% of customers said they had experienced at least one problem or complaint.  Bank of the West and Union Bank customers had the least problems or complaints at 12%, while Bank of America and Chase had the most, at 25% and 26%, respectively.  Only 9% of members at 'Other Credit Unions' experienced any problems or complaints, well below any named institutions and the state average.

In this economic environment, the importance of trust cannot be understated.  No matter how hard they try, if a bank does not act in their customers' best interest, they cannot create a satisfying experience.  Credit unions have the trust of their members and it shows in their scores.   Bank of the West had the lowest satisfaction with internet banking and ATMs and only moderate satisfaction with branches, but on overall experience ranked higher than any other bank (excluding credit unions).  How did they do this?  Their customers say the bank does what is in the customer's best interest, they're easy to do business with and the customers do not experience many problems or complaints.

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