Bought a bank? Better tell its customers

April 23, 2009

MoneyA good way to keep customers from abandoning ship when a bank is acquired sounds simple — tell them about the deal. Yet, not many banks seem to do it nowadays, a new study shows.
A survey involving four of last year’s deals — JPMorgan Chase-WaMu, Wells Fargo-Wachovia, PNC-National City, and Capital One-Chevy Chase — showed fewer than half the customers of the acquired institutions reported receiving enough information from the bank about the deal.
Lack of communication could come back to bite the bank, though, as a deal increases by as much as three times the likelihood that customers will switch banks, according to the J.D. Power and Associates report on bank deals. 
Moreover, customers who hear about the acquisition in the news or from family and friends are twice as likely to switch banks than those who hear about the deal from the bank itself, the report said. 

 About 75 percent of customers of the banks being merged said they received information about the deal from third-parties, according to the report. Some 12 percent of one bank’s customers said they first found out about the deal from the survey they received for the J.D. Power’s study. J.D. Power declined to reveal the name of the bank.
The report was based on responses from 3,111 customers evaluating 17 banks. The four more recent deals were chosen because the number of responses from customers of these banks were statistically significant.
“Overall, customers of acquired banks perceive that acquiring institutions are far less focused on customers’ interests and personal service than their previous bank,” said Rockwell Clancy, executive director of financial services at J.D. Power and Associates.
(Photo: REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco)

6 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

A good example is the take over of ABN AMRO by Fortis and RBS, ABN lost almost a third of their customers to other Dutch banks.

It’s mostly for sentimental reasons, many customers have a strong and longterm relationship with their bank and hate to see their bank being split up by a money hungry mob. The only way to show their disapproval is to vote with their feet and hoping to leave the assailants with an empty shell.


The recent acquisition against shareholder wishes of ANGLO IRISH BANK is probably the most agressive peace-time property grab.
This profitable bank was snatched from its rightful owners by The Irish Government.
The Directors sadly had their heads well in the trough, and were allowed to get away with this without any repudiation. How can any investor or client of the bank take this enterprise seriously in the future. Rendering the whole point of the government “snatch” of the bank stock pointless.


Same thing with most companies I have had a cell phone with the same people for well over 15 years and they have sold out and changed names this is the 3 time? No one told me anything I just got a bill from some other town and name on it. And another thing they always want another contract for even out right purchasing a new phone? Makes no since to me after 15 years as a customer. Just another way to rip off someone. Banks don\’t give anyone a break they just try to break everyone.

Posted by Bucky | Report as abusive

Washington mutual customer here… now a Chase Customer. If you care about your money, or if you live outside of a cave, you would know your bank changed ownership. driving by the bank is a good way to tell who owns that bank.

PS:newspapers are DEAD. Reporting is not.

Posted by Scott | Report as abusive

The study wasn’t needed. The Big Banks are now TOO BIG TO FAIL. Banks own the United States Government. Once in a while (and I like Obama) Obama will put on a show like he did today, inviting some bank execs and scolding them in front of the national media. But actions are louder than words. It’s the same ole same old.


Very Nice…..


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