Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Canadians Mostly Satisfied with Their Banks, Survey Says

The Globe and Mail, Virginia Galt, 23 January 2007

More than half of Canadians have banked via the Internet and 89 per cent have used automated teller machines — with the “24/7” access a key driver of customer satisfaction, according to a poll released Tuesday.

“Some 71 per cent of Canadians are now using three or more banking channels such as ATMs, Internet, in branch and telephone,” SECOR Consulting said in reporting the results of a survey of 1,000 Canadians.

The survey also found that 62 per cent of respondents were “very satisfied” with their primary bank or credit union. However, the poll was conducted between Jan 9 and 11 — the week before the financial press was dominated by news that the Royal Bank of Canada had closed the U.S.-dollar chequing accounts of hundreds of dual-citizen Canadians and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce revealed that one of its mutual fund subsidiaries had lost a backup computer file containing personal data for 470,000 investors.

SECOR Consulting said 53 per cent of the survey respondents would be “very likely” to recommend their institution to a friend or family member.

“Our findings indicate that access to financial information, services and products via a multitude of sources allows Canadians the 24/7 support they demand, and is likely one of the satisfaction drivers,” said Petrina Dolby, a partner with the consulting firm.

The survey was conducted by Ipsos Reid, which polled 1,000 adult Canadians by telephone. Almost 90 per cent said they had used ATMs at least once, 56 per cent had used the Internet, 93 per cent had done banking at their local branches and 50 per cent had conducted their banking business by telephone at least once.

Asked which channel they used most often, 37 per cent said ATMs, 30 per cent said Internet, 26 per cent said in-branch banking and 6 per cent most often used the telephone.