Credit unions top in customer satisfaction among financial institutions

PEWAUKEE, WI (November 19, 2014) — Credit unions are ranked first in customer satisfaction, significantly outpacing all other financial services, according to findings released by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). The 85 customer satisfaction score is first among financial institutions, where the average bank score lags behind at 76.

ACSI, a respected measure of customer satisfaction (based in Ann Arbor, Mich.), ranks credit unions substantially better than traditional banks on every component including expectations, quality, value, loyalty and having lower complaint rates. This is the seventh consecutive year that credit unions have ranked above banks.

People doing business at credit unions are referred to as “members” rather than customers, reflecting the cooperative nature of credit unions (where the members are the owners of the institution). However, the ASCI scoring accurately gauges the sentiments of members of credit unions and customers of other financial institutions.

“These findings confirm that when consumers own and control their financial institution, their overall experience will be far more satisfying,” said Brett Thompson, President & CEO of the Wisconsin Credit Union League.

“Credit unions have long topped these kinds of satisfaction surveys precisely because their structure as cooperatives ensures that the benefits of ownership accrue to their members.”

The report addressed key findings for all measures that accounted for credit unions’ number-one ranking in customer satisfaction. Members of credit unions have higher expectations of their credit union than customers of banks do – and over the past two years, not only have member expectations increased, but credit union satisfaction scores have increased as well.

Furthermore, member loyalty is greater at credit unions. The likelihood that a member will continue to do business with the credit union is far higher (nearly 20%) than all others measured in the survey.

In terms of value, credit union members recognize the value they receive by belonging. Their perception of the quality of service received for each dollar spent at a credit union is much higher than banks, according the ACSI survey results.

Additionally, credit union member complaints about service are very low. In fact, the complaints rate among credit union members is less than half that of banks.

Credit unions also outpace banks in a number of ACSI experience measures:

  • 1st in the availability of products and services
  • 1st in the ease of making account changes
  • 1st in interest rate competitiveness
  • 1st in understanding account information
  • 1st in courtesy and helpful staff

The ACSI report aligns with other rankings that put credit unions at the top of their field, including a recent Harris Poll that found consumer trust in credit unions steady while banks were in decline. In August, the Chicago Booth Kellogg School Financial Trust Index showed that consumers trust credit unions more than banks. The index (which is sponsored jointly by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business) showed trust in credit unions is 60% while trust in big banks is 30%.

ACSI is the only national cross-industry measure of customer satisfaction in the United States. The Index measures the satisfaction of U.S. household consumers with the quality of products and services offered by both foreign and domestic firms with significant share in U.S. markets.

Credit unions are cooperative financial institutions that are owned by their members and do not have stockholders. Because they are not-for-profit, they return earnings to members via more competitive rates of return on accounts, lower interest on loans, lower fees and improved services. Around 2.5 million Wisconsin residents belong to credit unions, of which nearly half are open to the local community. Find a credit union to join by visiting

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