- Small businesses' satisfaction with their banks appeared to increase along with the size of the business in 2020, a J.D. Power survey found last week. Businesses with annual sales between $2.5 million and $20 million reported a nine-point increase on a 1,000-point scale compared with last year, while smaller businesses reported a five-point decrease. Satisfaction averaged 822 among both groups, a two-point climb from 2019.
- The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) served as a major influence on scoring. Businesses whose PPP applications were approved rated their satisfaction at 838 points, while those whose applications were denied or still pending — survey data was collected from more than 7,500 respondents between June and August — rated it 796.
- As with past editions of this survey, results were broken into regions. Respondents ranked Capital One highest in the Northeast, with 857 points, and in the South, with 856. Bank of America topped the Midwest, with 847 points. And JPMorgan Chase continued its dominance in the West, winning that region for the eighth straight year, with 828.
Capital One's win in the Northeast is nothing new — it topped the region last year with 850 points. But it widened the gap between itself and its nearest competitor, JPMorgan Chase, which scored 829 this year, compared with 842 in 2019.
This year's high scorers in the Midwest and South didn't rank among the top three in those regions last year. Bank of America narrowly edged out Fifth Third's 846 in the Midwest. And Capital One topped Citi (846) and BB&T (843) in the South, where none of the region's three top-rated banks from last year's survey — TD, JPMorgan Chase or Regions — placed.
JPMorgan Chase ranked second last year in every region outside the West — a feat it couldn't repeat in 2020. It ranked third in the Midwest with 839. Bank of America ranked third in the Northeast, with 828, and second in the West, with 819.
However, the gulf in satisfaction between respondents from larger and smaller businesses — and those whose efforts to get PPP funds succeeded rather than failed — may be the most crucial takeaway from this year's survey.
"The pandemic has created a moment of truth for small business banking customers and, by and large, their banks delivered, generating significantly improved satisfaction for problem resolution, products and fees, reputation and reliability," Paul McAdam, J.D. Power's senior director of banking and payments intelligence, said in a press release Thursday. "But the performance is not balanced across all small business segments."
The decline in satisfaction among businesses with less than $2.5 million in annual sales is "a sign that many banks still need to refine their small business formulas to address this highly diverse market," McAdam said.