US banks: Do American consumers still trust them?

GFT’s Banking Disruption Index survey reveals 58% of Americans aren’t happy with their bank, but is this enough to prompt consumers to switch?

A report by GFT’s Banking Disruption Index reveals that 58% of Americans aren’t happy with their bank amid economic uncertainty and the collapse of several financial institutions earlier this year. 

However, despite unhappiness, consumers are not willing to change their bank, with 78% saying they still trust them even after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). 

US banking: Growing consumer unhappiness

There seems to be, then, a distinction between US consumers’ satisfaction vs. trust with their banking provider – maintaining trust does not seem to be as important as, say, digital transformation initiatives to improve the customer experience. 

This is made worse by traditional banks’ customers being targetted by challenger banks, which provide seamless, UX-focused offerings. 

However, with a 78% trust rate – many traditional banks shouldn’t fear a mass exodus of customers. In fact, the rate of trust in banks has risen 28% in 2023 compared with 2022, which the Banking Disruption Index accredits to firm regulatory adherence. 

Some 39% of US Consumers say a bank insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is one of the most important factors that makes them trust the bank they hold an account with, something many challenger banks can’t offer. 

Meanwhile, another 40% of US consumers say that low or no banking fees increase their trust in the institution they provide custom to, while 32% say being able to access customer service 24/7 is another pull factor in establishing trust. 

GFT’s CEO of Americas, Marco Santos, says: “As recently as last year, US consumers weren’t sure whether it would be traditional banks or fintechs managing their money for the long haul.

“Just a year later, new regulated programmes such as FedNow, as well as forthcoming open banking initiatives, have given banks the gravitas to establish that they aren’t going anywhere. 

“Now, they just need the digital infrastructures to be able to participate in these programmes, and then test and launch new offerings quickly.”

US consumers like their bank more than consumers in other countries

Despite only 42% of US consumers being totally happy with their bank, this is actually higher than the satisfaction rates the Banking Disruption Index found in other leading markets. 

The survey polled 2,000 consumers in the US, but it also gathered the opinions of 10,000 consumers across the UK, Germany, Italy, Japan and Poland.

While only 42% of US consumers reported happiness with their bank, the UK’s satisfaction rate was lower at 34%, while Poland reported consumer satisfaction of 32%, Germany 22%, Italy 16%, and Japan just 10%. 

Of the other countries surveyed, German consumers were the most aggrieved with their banks; 5% of respondents claimed to be deeply unsatisfied as opposed to 2% in the US, 2% in the UK, 3% in Italy, 1% in Japan and 1% in Poland. 

It seems the most pressing issue in the US is improving financial literacy, and consumers’ understanding of new banking innovations. 

Notably, while 52% of those surveyed in the US say they have heard the term ‘open banking’, 76% can’t see, or know, how this can benefit them and the potential satisfaction they could have in who they bank with. 

The takeaway? While US banks still maintain the trust of their customers, more needs to be done to offer customer-friendly services and to educate consumers on the financial options available to them. 

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For more insights from FinTech Magazine, you can see our latest edition of FinTech Magazine here, or you can follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
You may also be interested in our sister site, InsurTech Digital, which you can also follow on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Please also take a look at our upcoming virtual event, FinTech LIVE London, coming on 8-9 November 2023.


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