Credit Unions and Small Banks Cream Big Banks in Customer Satisfaction Survey

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The results of a new survey show that 88% — 88%! — of credit union and small bank customers say they’re satisfied with the service they receive, and only 1% of credit union customers report being dissatisfied.

According to the 2010 Bank & Credit Union Satisfaction Survey from Prime Performance, customers at the biggest banks are less likely to be satisfied. The nation’s three largest banks—Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo—all scored below the average overall satisfaction level among customers (77%), with Chase at the very bottom (67%).

While 7% of credit union customers and 8% of small bank customers said they were likely to switch banks over the next 12 months, 17% of Wells Fargo clients and 19% of customers banking with Chase or Bank of America said there’s a good chance they’ll switch banks within the next year.

Upon the release of the survey, the Credit Union National Association seized the opportunity to pat itself on the bank and basically say, “No s*** Sherlock! Of course we have better service and more satisfied customers. What’d you expect to find out?” I’m paraphrasing the words of CUNA president and CEO Bill Cheney, who for the record said something much more press release-friendly:

“The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is not surprised at the finding, because this confirms what study after study have found.”

Cheney also took a moment to point out the main reason credit union customers are happier—because these institutions exist not to make money but to look out for customer needs:

“It’s also important to note the very real and fundamental difference between banks and credit unions, regardless of size: Credit unions’ not-for-profit, cooperative structure.

Ultimately, that’s what separates all credit unions from the rest, and drives their passion to provide the best service to their members, rather than amass profits.”

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