Small Biz Still Not Happy With Banks

Banks may be trying to woo small-business customers, but owners are increasingly dissatisfied with their relationship, according to a study from consumer satisfaction research firm J.D. Power and Associates.

According to J.D. Power’s U.S. Small Business Banking Satisfaction Study, overall satisfaction decreased to 711 on a 1,000-point scale from 718 last year, with small-business customers exhibiting the lowest satisfaction levels among banking customers.

This is the second consecutive year satisfaction and residual customer loyalty have declined among small businesses, with only 19% of customers, or owners, saying this year that they “definitely will” reuse their financial institution for additional business products, compared with 34% in 2008.

“Despite a sense of optimism in the industry among small-business owners, it appears that their financial institutions are failing to keep up with their expectations,” said Michael Beird, director of banking services at J.D. Power and Associates, in a press release. “Banks are a critical support mechanism for small businesses, so these customers may be experiencing some frustration with the lack of support.”

J.D. Power polled more than 6,600 financial decision-makers at small businesses with revenue between $100,000 to $10 million between July and August. Now in its fifth year, the study measures small-business customer satisfaction by examining eight factors: product offerings, account management, facilities, account information, problem resolution, credit services, fees and account activities.

Incidentally, the banks that ranked the lowest in J.D. Power's study were the nation's three largest: Chase (Stock Quote: JPM), Bank of America (Stock Quote: BAC) and Citibank (Stock Quote: C).

Conversely, smaller regional banks topped the list with Atlanta’s bank, SunTrust, Columbus’ Huntington National Bank and Cleveland’s KeyCorp placing first, second and third respectively. You can view the full list of rankings on the firm’s website.

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