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ABA: The American Bankers Association
Press Release

National Survey: Americans Remain Highly Satisfied With Their Bank, Value Banks’ Support During Pandemic

WASHINGTON —

A year into the onset of COVID-19 in the U.S., consumers are happy with their bank and value the banking industry’s support throughout the pandemic, according to a new survey conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of the American Bankers Association. The survey found that 9 in 10 Americans with a bank account (86%) say they are “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with their primary bank and 96% rate their bank’s customer service as “excellent,” “very good” or “good.”

The survey, conducted in early March and released to coincide with the start of ABA’s Washington Summit, found that 3 in 4 U.S. adults (74%) approve of their bank’s response to COVID-19. It gauged consumers’ perception of banks’ performance throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, which has included significant customer relief options for those directly affected, the processing of more than 300 million government Economic Impact Payments and the delivery of nearly $650 billion in Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program loans.

“During a year of economic hardship for consumers and businesses, banks across the country have stepped up to support those affected by this unprecedented public health crisis,” said Rob Nichols, ABA president and CEO. “These survey results reflect the countless hours employees at banks of all sizes have spent providing critical assistance to individual and business customers over the last year. Americans clearly appreciate the support our industry has provided during this challenging time.”

More than one-third of U.S. adults (34%) were aware of their bank’s programs to assist customers experiencing financial hardship, and one-third of those individuals (32%) have utilized at least one of those programs. A large majority of consumers (72%) who were aware of their bank’s assistance options during the pandemic now have a more favorable opinion of their financial institution, according to the survey.

More than 8 in 10 U.S. adults (84%) said banks are important to our nation’s economy. Four in 10 respondents who work at a small business said their company received an SBA Paycheck Protection Plan loan, and 92% of them said it made a difference, with 59% saying it made a major difference. Nine in 10 of these respondents (89%) said the PPP loan helped to preserve jobs at that business.

Seven in 10 adults received an Economic Impact Payment from the U.S. government, in the form of direct deposits (72%), checks (20%) and prepaid cards (8%) delivered by banks. Nearly everyone who received an EIP (98%) rated their bank’s help with accessing their EIP as “excellent,” “very good” or “good.”

ABA released an accompanying infographic highlighting the survey results. The full results for the survey questions are as follows:

When asked “On a scale of 1-5, where 5 is very satisfied and 1 is very dissatisfied, how satisfied are you with your primary bank?” respondents who have a bank account provided the following responses:

  • Very satisfied – 49%
  • Satisfied – 37%
  • Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied – 9%
  • Dissatisfied – 3%
  • Very dissatisfied – 1%

When asked “On a scale of 1-5, where 5 is excellent and 1 is poor, how would you rate your primary bank’s customer service?” those with a bank account provided the following responses:

  • Excellent – 43%
  • Very Good – 37%
  • Good – 16%
  • Fair – 3%
  • Poor – 1%

When asked “Looking forward, how important, if at all, do you think banks are to the nation’s economic recovery?” consumers provided the following answers:

  • Very important – 46%
  • Somewhat important – 38%
  • Not that important – 5%
  • Not at all important – 1%
  • Don’t know/No opinion – 10%

When asked “On a scale of 1-5, where ’5’ is very satisfied and ’1’ is very dissatisfied, how satisfied have you been with your bank’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic?” consumers provided the following answers:

  • Very satisfied – 39%
  • Satisfied – 35%
  • Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied – 22%
  • Dissatisfied – 3%
  • Very dissatisfied – 1%

When asked “At any point throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, has your bank made you aware of programs to assist customers experiencing financial hardship (such as a fee waiver, forbearance, or loan modification)?” consumers provided the following responses:

  • Yes – 34%
  • No – 37%
  • Don’t know/unsure – 30%

When asked “Did you utilize any of those bank assistance programs offered to you during the COVID-19 pandemic?” consumers who were aware of bank assistance programs provided the following responses:

  • Yes – 32%
  • No – 66%
  • Don’t know/unsure – 3%

When asked “Did your bank offering these financial assistance options during the COVID-19 pandemic give you a more or less favorable opinion of your bank?” consumers who were aware of their bank’s assistance options during the pandemic provided the following answers:

  • Much more favorable – 37%
  • Somewhat more favorable – 35%
  • No impact either way – 27%
  • Somewhat less favorable – 1%
  • Much less favorable – 0%

When asked “Are you employed by a small business of 350 employees or less?” consumers provided the following answers:

  • Yes – 39%
  • No – 58%
  • Don’t know/unsure – 3%

When asked “Did your business receive a Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan from a bank?” consumers provided the following answers:

  • Yes – 39%
  • No, the small business I work at/own did not apply – 26%
  • No, the small business I work at/own was denied – 6%
  • Don’t know/unsure – 30%

When asked “How much of a difference, if at all, did the PPP loan your business received make to your business?” those whose businesses received a PPP loan provided the following answers:

  • A major difference – 59%
  • A minor difference – 33%
  • No difference – 6%
  • Don’t know/unsure – 1%

When asked “In your opinion, did the PPP loan your business received help to preserve jobs at that business, or not?” those whose businesses received a PPP loan provided the following answers:

  • Yes, definitely – 54%
  • Yes, probably – 35%
  • No, probably not – 7%
  • No, definitely not – 0%
  • Don’t know/no opinion – 4%

When asked “Did you receive an Economic Impact Payment (EIP) from the U.S. government?” consumers provided the following answers:

  • Yes – 68%
  • No – 24%
  • Don’t know/unsure – 8%

When asked “And how did you receive your Economic Impact Payment (EIP) from the U.S. government?” those who received an EIP provided the following answers:

  • Direct deposit – 72%
  • Prepaid card – 8%
  • Check in the mail – 20%
  • Don’t know/unsure – 0%

When asked “How would you rate your bank’s performance in helping you access your Economic Impact Payment?” those who received an EIP provided the following answers:

  • Excellent – 53%
  • Very good – 27%
  • Good – 18%
  • Not very good – 1%
  • Poor – 1%

About the Survey
This poll was conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of the American Bankers Association from March 4-8, 2021, among a national sample of 2,200 adults. The interviews were conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

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About the American Bankers Association

The American Bankers Association is the voice of the nation’s $22.5 trillion banking industry, which is composed of small, regional and large banks that together employ more than 2 million people, safeguard $18 trillion in deposits and extend nearly $11 trillion in loans.

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