When it comes time to pick a bank, choose wisely. The one you
select could give you more than good savings account rates; it
could also lead to less stress and an improved outlook on your
That's according to a
new survey from TD Bank
that suggests there is a link between having a bank you love and
lower financial stress. Six in 10 consumers who say they are happy
with their bank also report having low or no financial stress. In
addition, more than half of happy bank customers spend a full hour
less fretting about their finances each week as compared to those
who are less satisfied.
"All banks are not the same when it comes to the service they
provide," said Ryan Bailey, executive vice president and head of
deposit products at TD Bank, in a written statement. "Research
shows those who feel valued by their bank are more likely to be
happy with their financial state."
Bank satisfaction on the rise
If better banking leads to less stress, then there should be an
increasing number of relaxed customers around the country.
According to the
American Consumer Satisfaction Index
, customer satisfaction with banks increased 2.7 percent last year
to 77. The index is scored on a 100-point scale.
While Chase had the highest satisfaction of the big banks with
an index score of 74, customers at smaller institutions appear to
be the ones really feeling the love. Smaller banks have a
satisfaction score of 79, while credit unions boast a score of
What makes bank customers happy
In publishing satisfaction scores, the ACSI notes personalized
may be what boost the scores of small banks and credit unions over
those of big banks. The TD Bank survey echoed this idea.
Among those surveyed, most consumers told TD Bank the following
factors led to them feel valued by their financial institution.
- Friendly service: 82 percent
- Knowledgeable advice: 62 percent
- Reliability as a financial resource: 60 percent
While friendly service was valued by consumers of all ages,
Millennials appeared more likely to look past a curt teller or two.
Among those ages 18-34, only 75 percent felt friendly service is
key to their banking satisfaction, compared to 89 percent of those
in the age 55-and-over crowd.
Can your choice of bank really reduce stress?
The TD Bank study links worry-free customers to the banks they
love, but that doesn't necessarily mean finding the bank of your
dreams will instantly make you stress-free. It may be that those
who are already feeling relatively stress-free about their finances
are more inclined to be happy with their bank.
Those who are already on solid financial ground -- which may
make them eligible for better bank rates and help them avoid fees
-- simply may be more likely to be satisfied regardless of where
Still, it is hard to argue with the benefits of a friendly face
smiling at you from behind the counter. For the ultimate
satisfaction, consumers might want to combine a bank with good
service with their own
good money-management skills
. Taken together, these factors may create the formula for a
worry-free financial future.