The ath Power Ideal Banking Study™



There is more consumer measurement and greater varieties of data capture mediums today than ever before.  So, one would think our present banking institutions would effectively translate the data into a better experience for their customers.  Unfortunately, this happens in too few cases, as only a small percentage of financial services organizations provide consistently high levels of customer experience.

While it is difficult to alter brand image in the current banking markets, every element of customer experience offered through front-line employees has a tremendously powerful effect on a consumer’s view of an institution.  The ath Power Ideal Banking Study™ was formulated to determine what elements make up the “ideal consumer banking experience,” and to uncover the impediments of producing such an experience.  This report provides accurate competitive intelligence on the current consumer banking market and reveals the most important elements in banking relationships today.  It also offers actionable insight on how financial institutions can take advantage of their current market differentiation, as well as identify additional areas of focus to consider.


In the fourth quarter of 2014, 3,174 retail banking customers from across the nation responded to ath Power’s online survey, and through this evaluation, consumers assessed their current primary bank on an array of dimensions, including customer service, product offerings, loyalty programs, cross-sell attempts and problem resolution dynamics. They also provided information regarding their banking behaviors such as frequency of branch visits and online banking usage.

General Survey Content

In the online evaluation, retail banking customers were asked specific questions that ultimately determined the following:

  • Customer priorities for evaluating a primary bank
  • Identification and ratings of primary bank
  • Customer banking behaviors
  • Customer satisfaction with primary bank
  • Problem resolution efforts with primary bank
  • Primary reasons for loyalty and attrition
  • Customer outlook on the banking industry

Institutions Surveyed

A total of 456 U.S. and Canadian banks and 408 credit unions received completed evaluations for this sixth edition of The ath Power Ideal Banking Study™.  The three largest U.S. banks ﴾Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo) had the most customer participation.  Every U.S. bank in the top 50 in assets had survey responses for this study.  Specific charts in this study are classified into 5 categories when describing a question or dynamic.  They are listed as Top-4 U.S. Banks, Other Top-20 Banks, Regional Banks, Community Banks and Credit Unions.  Only banks and credit unions with 20+ completed evaluations were included in individual rankings.

In this report, you will:

  • Find out which factors are the most important to consumers when choosing a banking relationship;
  • Discover the most sought after sales and service processes, product and service offerings, delivery mediums and customer experiences as revealed by today’s banking customers;
  • Discover what defining elements of a high-level customer experience are still missing at most banking institutions, and take away actionable insight and best practices to help resolve this problem;
  • Learn how some individual banks are performing within the competitive landscape of retail banking compared to previous years; and
  • Gain the strategic insight needed to attract more customers, retain existing customers, and develop long-term, profitable retail banking relationships.

* Previous versions of each ath Power study are also available. Please email with your request and a team member will assist you.

ideal-graph-imageath Power Custom Research

If you are interested in obtaining a customized competitive analysis for your own institution, please contact Ed O’Brien via email at or call  +1.978.474.6464 Ext. 139.