Survey: Citizens lags big banks on customer banking advice satisfaction

NATIONAL BANKS dominated on J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Retail Banking Advice Satisfaction Survey, while regional banks, including Citizens Bank, scored below the industry average. / COURTESY J.D. POWER

PROVIDENCE – Big banks’ digital advice offerings make them more popular with customers than their regional bank counterparts, including Rhode Island-based Citizens Bank.

This was among the findings of J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Retail Banking Advice Satisfaction Study. The third annual study measures customer satisfaction with retail banks – both national and regional – and ranks those banks based on customer feedback.

Overall customer satisfaction with retail bank advice hit 833 out of 1,000, up 14 points from the prior year. Big banks saw an even higher jump, of 16 points, compared with an 11-point gain in regional banks, which was attributed to big banks’ digital tools.

Big banks dominated the top of the annual rankings, with CitiBank scoring the highest, followed by Bank of America Corp. in second and BB&T Corp. – now known as Truist Financial Corp. after BB&T acquired SunTrust Banks Inc. and changed its name in December 2019 – and Chase banks tied for third.

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Citizens Bank ranked No. 14, 20 points below the industry average score. Santander Bank and TD Bank, which both have branches in Rhode Island, ranked No. 12 and No. 15, respectively.

Asked for comment on the rankings, Rory Sheehan, a spokesperson for Citizens’ consumer banking division, said, “Outside rankings provide a singular view that can be highly subjective. We have invested significantly in digital and physical channels to deliver advice while supporting our customers at each stage in their financial journey and the feedback we have received has been highly positive. That said, we will continue to look at these rankings in combination with other data to get a more holistic picture of our customers’ experiences and expectations.”

According to the survey, customer satisfaction with digital advice was up 21 points, compared with a 2-point increase in advice offered in person.

About 36% of customers surveyed used digital channels for bank advice, and 31% of those who opened new accounts did not through a website or mobile app, up from 22% the prior year.

Nancy Lavin is a staff writer for the PBN. Contact her at

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