Foresight Research:  COVID – 19 Bank and Credit Union Churn Hot Spot

Foresight Research:  COVID – 19 Bank and Credit Union Churn Hot Spot



ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich., Aug. 05, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- For many years, large national and regional banks have had the unfair advantage of information that analyzed the banking customer and credit union member.  The outcome – better operational process, better training, greater brand loyalty and more effective marketing strategies.  Now the tide is turning - local banks and credit unions can compete on a level playing field with this new report (and others by Foresight Research) as a guidebook.  We have surveyed almost 11,000 banking customers and credit union members in 44 markets to find out what is really going on in the world of banking from the customer/member’s point of view.  Then we added another survey of almost 700 customers and members to find out what the pandemic had changed in the banking industry.  We found a hot spot of churn.  Churn increased from 12% (over two years) to 22% expected churn in the next year or two.  For large multi- location banks it was a whopping 27%.So, for a fraction of what a study like this would cost; since it is syndicated, this report spells out: where people bank and how they choose their banking relationship. Bank customer and credit union member expectations and satisfaction.  And what specific products are purchased. Then we compared all of that to our supplemental pandemic survey. We also added what it is the switchers are looking for.  With that understanding, the current financial institution could slow the churn, or a competitor could attract the switchers. Here are some more of the findings.

Bank customers and credit union members place a high priority on access – both traditional and digital.  During the pandemic expectations were much lower and satisfaction tanked in many areas.  This does not seem surprising considering that many lobbies were closed or had limited hours.  A total of 16 measures exist in this report (expectations and satisfaction) and there was pretty much universal decline.  Some of the fundamental banking operations (like processing transactions accurately or handling problems) – high priorities for customers and members - were negatively impacted by closure or reduced access.  Did digital banking become a lot more important?  Not really,  they were already important to most customers and members. 

More grim news.  Of the people who intend to leave their financial institution almost 3 our of 4 are Gen Z or Millennials - the very block of business that drives the future of your financial institution.  And overwhelmingly they are men.

So, what drove the high churn?  Even though satisfaction declined greatly (except at credit unions) that was not the culprit.  Customers and members were generally empathetic likely thinking “we are all in this together”. It was all about financial issues like interest rates and fees.  The switchers while forgiving also are looking to reduce cost or increase interest on items like money market accounts, CDs, etc. Seems reasonable given the high rates of unemployment, underemployment and the uncertain future.

Foresight Research (a Michigan marketing research company) and a leader in cost effective syndicated market research has been working with Fortune 500 companies for over 20 years.  Visit our website, shoot us an email or give us a call to find out more about this report and other available reports. 

Steve Bruyn
248.608.1870 x 12   

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