Signs We’re Moving Toward a New and Improved Normal: Banks Prioritizing Financial Health

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Signs We’re Moving Toward a New and Improved Normal: Banks Prioritizing Financial Health

by Rebecca Lennington February 4, 2022

We’re already a month into 2022 and while things are far from perfect, there have been promising indications that they’re improving. There is reason for cautious optimism.  the pandemic is finally becoming manageable – or at least less overwhelming. And people are looking out for each other. Just look at the record breaking charitable spending  from the 2021 holiday season if you need a reference.  An estimated 35 million Americans participated in Giving Tuesday (the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving).

In addition to people helping each other out, financial institutions are increasingly taking measures to support the financial wellbeing of their customers. Bank of America intends to dramatically reduce their overdraft fees, while Capital One will be eschewing theirs entirely. JPMorgan Chase intends to implement options later this year that will allow customers to overdraw their accounts without incurring late fees or damage to their credit scores by giving them a day to bring their overdrawn accounts back within the threshold.

These aren’t small gestures. Banks make billions of dollars every year from overdraft fees. The vast majority of that money comes from less than 10% of customers paying these fees multiple times a year. Individuals who are consistently overdrawing their accounts tend to be financially vulnerable and such penalties only make it harder to get caught up. Other banks are following the trend of becoming more lenient. This will not only give people a much-needed break but will also help customer satisfaction with banks in general.

CFI Group’s most recent Credit Union Satisfaction Index found that credit union customer satisfaction was significantly higher than it was for banks. The CUs scored well, earning 85 out of 100 (improving upon their pre-pandemic satisfaction score by two points).  Banks, on the other hand, dipped one point to a score of 78.

The credit unions that showed interest in the financial well-being of their members during the pandemic saw higher satisfaction, which lead to their higher scores overall. Banks that are waiving and drastically reducing overdraft fees are likely to see their satisfaction scores improve as well.

Has your bank or credit union made any changes since the pandemic that you appreciated? Have you noticed initiatives that other organizations have implemented that genuinely seem to support their customers and/or employees?

What about your own workplace? We’d love to hear your thoughts on what’s worked and what hasn’t. CFI Group has been measuring customer and employee satisfaction for decades. Please feel free to reach out.

As we move toward recovery, institutions, organizations and businesses bear responsibility in ensuring that the “new normal” is an improvement over the previous one for their customers, employees and communities.

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