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Canadian Retail Banking Customer Satisfaction Improves as Customers Increasingly Understand Fees and Services

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TD Canada Trust and ING Direct Canada Each Rank Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Retail Banks in Canada in Their Respective Segments for a Second Consecutive Year

TORONTO: 18 July 2013 Overall customer satisfaction with the Big 5 and Midsize banks in Canada has increased, driven primarily by customers' increasing understanding regarding fees and services. However, customers perceive banks as being profit driven, lagging in innovation and not customer focused, according to the J.D. Power 2013 Canadian Retail Banking Customer Satisfaction StudySM released today. 

The study, now in its eighth year, examines customer satisfaction with their primary financial institution in three segments: Big 5 Banks, Midsize Banks and Credit Unions. In all segments, customer satisfaction is measured in seven factors (listed in order of importance): channel activities; account information; facilities; product offerings; fees; financial advisor; and problem resolution.

Key Findings

  • Overall customer satisfaction with Canadian retail banks increases by 19 points to 772 in 2013.
  • Customer satisfaction with banking fees has increased substantially by 35 points in 2013 to 627 from 592 in 2012.
  • Customers increasingly understand their bank fee structures and services.

Overall customer satisfaction among retail bank customers in Canada increases substantially by 19 points to 772 (on a 1,000-point scale), compared with 753 in 2012, as customers increasingly understand their banks' fees and services. Satisfaction in the Big 5 Banks segment increases to 765 from 748 in 2012. Customer satisfaction in the Midsize Banks segment increases to 778 from 759 in 2012. Despite this increase in overall satisfaction, 32 percent of  Big 5 Bank customers perceive their bank as being more profit driven and less customer focused, up from 24 percent in 2012. Among Midsize Bank customers, 19 percent share this sentiment, compared with 15 percent in 2012. 

Retail banking customers in Canada have high expectations when it comes to using technology to conduct their banking business. Banks may not be meeting these expectations, especially in mobile, which may be driving the lower ratings for innovation provided by customers. In 2013, 58 percent of customers perceive their bank as being technologically innovative, down from 66 percent in 2012. While mobile penetration is not catching on as fast in Canada, compared with the United States (8% vs. 18%, respectively) banks could help raise mobile banking penetration and customer satisfaction by improving their mobile offerings.  Providing a mobile banking option is critical in migrating routine transactions, especially deposits, out of the branch, helping to reduce bank costs while providing convenience for customers. 

During the past 12 months, mobile banking customers in Canada have used mobile to conduct a banking transaction 33 times, on average, compared with 51 times in the United States. Transactions may include making a deposit, transferring money from one account to another, finding a location, checking an account balance or paying a bill, depending upon the services offered by the bank.

"Banks have an opportunity to increase customer satisfaction by offering convenient mobile banking options, but that isn't enough in a highly competitive market. Banks must also execute well during key customer touch points or 'moments of truth,' such as opening a new account, problem resolution and handling financial needs associated with life-changing events," said Jim Miller, senior director of the banking practice at J.D. Power. "Banks need to provide a highly satisfying experience during these moments of truth in order to achieve a profoundly positive impact on customer satisfaction." 

Customer satisfaction with banking fees has increased substantially by 35 points to 627 from 592 in 2012. As customers gain a greater understanding regarding fees and services, satisfaction increases. According to the study, 31 percent of customers understand their fee structure, up from 28 percent in 2012. In 2013, fewer customers have experienced a fee change than in 2012 (21% vs. 27%, respectively). As customers take more control of their banking services, the percentage of customers paying monthly maintenance fees at least once during the year has declined to 45 percent from 49 percent in 2012.

Problem resolution satisfaction has improved by 26 points to 620, compared with 594 in 2012. As customers gain a better understanding of their fee structure, problem incidence declines (14% in 2013 vs. 17% in 2012), and satisfaction with problem resolution increases.

Loyalty and advocacy have also improved in 2013, with 42 percent of retail banking customers saying they "definitely will" reuse their retail bank, compared with 39 percent in 2012. With respect to advocacy, more than one-third of customers say they "definitely will" recommend their bank. Overall, the brand reputation of banks (good reputation vs. bad reputation) in 2013 has slightly improved from 2012. In addition, customers perceive they are getting a better value from their bank.

Study Rankings

TD Canada Trust ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction among Big 5 Banks for an eighth consecutive year, achieving a score of 781. TD Canada Trust performs well in all seven factors, especially in facilities.

Among Midsize Banks, ING Direct Canada ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction with a score of 839. ING Direct Canada performs particularly well in fees, account information, channel activities and product offerings.

The 2013 Canadian Retail Banking Customer Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more than 21,000 customers who use a primary financial institution for personal banking. The study includes the largest financial institutions--banks and credit unions2 --in Canada and was fielded May 7, 2013, through May 24, 2013.

[1] Big 5 Banks include BMO Bank of Montreal, CIBC, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD Canada Trust. Midsize Banks include Alterna Bank, ATB, HSBC  Bank Canada, ING Direct Canada, Laurentian Bank of Canada, Manulife Bank, National Bank of Canada, and President's Choice Financial. Credit Unions include all credit union data collected.

[2]Rankings are not provided for credit unions, as they do not meet market share requirements for the study.

About J.D. Power

J.D. Power is a global marketing information services company providing performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions. The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power has offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit J.D. Power is a business unit of McGraw-Hill Financial.

About McGraw Hill Financial

McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE: MHFI), a financial intelligence company, is a leader in credit ratings, benchmarks and analytics for the global capital and commodity markets. Iconic brands include: Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, CRISIL, J.D. Power, McGraw Hill Construction and Aviation Week. The Company has approximately 17,000 employees in 27 countries. Additional information is available at 

Media Relations Contacts:

Gal Wilder; Cohn & Wolfe; Toronto, Canada; (647) 259-3261;
Beth Daniher; Cohn & Wolfe; Toronto, Canada; (647) 259-3279;
John Tews; J.D. Power; Troy, Mich.; (248) 680-6218;

Follow us on Twitter: @JDPower

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power.

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