M&I tops national small business banking satisfaction study

Milwaukee-based M&I Bank ranks No. 1 in overall satisfaction by small business banking customers, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Small Business Banking Satisfaction Study of 24 national banks released.
M&I Bank ranks highest in small business customer satisfaction with an overall score of 768 and performs particularly well in account activities. Huntington National Bank follows in the rankings with a score of 767, and Branch Banking & Trust (BB&T) and M&T Bank rank third in a tie with 764.
“Although M&I Bank has a higher incidence of maintenance fees than other banks ranked in the study, customers clearly perceive value for their money,” said Michael Beird, director of banking services at J.D. Power and Associates. “While much of the negative press surrounding banks focuses on fees, it’s more important to focus on what really matters — providing a highly satisfying banking experience and ensuring that customers are seeing the value in any fees they pay.”
Despite the doom and gloom in the economy, overall satisfaction among small business banking customers increased in 2011 from 2010, returning to 2009 levels, according to the study.
Small business banking customer satisfaction in 2011 averages 717 on a 1,000-point scale, up from 711 in 2010. The study, now in its sixth year, measures small business customer satisfaction with the overall banking experience by examining eight factors: product offerings; account manager; facility; account information; problem resolution; credit services; fees; and account activities.
“Contrary to popular belief that most customers are unhappy with their bank, small business banking customers are more satisfied than last year across nearly all aspects of the banking experience,” Beird said. “In addition, credit availability has increased, indicating greater stability and a return to some degree of normalcy within the small business banking environment.”
BMO Financial Group, the parent company of BMO Financial Corp., acquired Marshall & Ilsley Corporation (M&I) in July. As a result, M&I Marshall Ilsley Bank, M&I Bank N.A. and The Harris Bank N.A. have since merged into Chicago-based Harris N.A.

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