Small Banks Struggle to Lure Younger Bankers

Small Banks Struggle to Lure Younger Bankers

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — One demographic is poised for harmonic convergence with smaller community banks but it’s at the lower end of the age scale, where the Justin Bieber set resides. Luring young consumers away from larger banks may now be easier than ever, but smaller financial institutions need to amp up their game to take advantage of this market.

A March 14 survey by MyCUsurvey.com says that in general, there’s a “direct correlation” between the age of bank consumers and customer satisfaction with their banks. If the survey had stopped there, your gut feeling may have told you that the survey was referring to older Americans, who traditionally have more money tied up in banks and use more services, while young people are more likely to be dealing with debt with their banks.

On the numbers alone, that gut feeling is right. The survey says that consumers over 65 are happier with community bank services than consumers under 30. It also shows people who visit their community banks at least once a week – something older Americans do more than the app-happy younger generation (defined here as being born from 1979-1999), who are more likely to use mobile technology to conduct their banking business.

"We have uncovered some key findings that are critical indicators for the credit union industry,” explains Dr. Jack Bieda, founder of MyCUsurvey.com. “The convenience of web and mobile banking and other trends are undermining credit union member satisfaction. It’s clear that credit unions need to find a way to attract younger members and get members to visit their branches for a more personalized banking experience in order to cement the member relationship.”

But big banks have apparently bungled the job of bringing younger consumers into the fold. Larger banks have obviously deeper financial resources than smaller banks, but all the banking apps in the world haven’t been enough to close the deal between big banks and young customers.