3 Big Banks Top 'Hated' List

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The American Customer Service Index has been updated  – and three major banks made the list of the most hated businesses in the U.S. Who are they and how do banks match up with other customer-service challenged industries?

The list is called 18 Companies That Consumers Absolutely Hate and it’s a virtual who’s who of American mega-brands. McDonald's (Stock Quote: MCD), AT&T (Stock Quote: T) and Con Edison (Stock Quote: ED) all made the list.

But it’s the big banks earning consumers’ ire that piques the interest of financial services consumers. Let’s have a look:

  • Citibank. First up is Citibank (Stock Quote: C), which received a customer service rating of 68 out of 100 possible points. The banking giant was lambasted by survey participants for high overdraft fees and their reluctance to lend money — despite receiving billions in taxpayer bailout money.
  • JPMorgan Chase. Rated at the same level of Citibank is JPMorgan Chase (Stock Quote: JPM). The bank received poor marks on overdraft fees and was viewed as impersonal by survey respondents.
  • Bank of America. BofA (Stock Quote: BAC) made the ACSI’s “most hated” list, with a slightly worse rating of 67 out of 100. Once again, high overdraft fees triggered highly negative emotions from the survey group.

Part of the problem is that banks have triggered the wrath of consumers because they received a government bailout after the onset of the Great Recession. Meanwhile, millions of Americans lost their jobs and homes and received no bailout of their own.

That put banks, especially big banks, in the crosshairs of an increasingly angry American consumer. The perceived indifference from bigger banks really seemed to set consumers off, the ACSI reports. “These are not terribly competitive industries, as the switching barriers for most of them are quite high," David VanAmburg of ACSI told Business Insider.

The sense from consumers that big banks look at them and see potential profit centers (from overdraft and credit card fees, mostly) is also hurting big banks.

Is there hope for redemption? Maybe Citibank, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America can learn from the one big bank that didn’t make the list – Wells Fargo (Stock Quote: WFC). If not, then the banks on ACSI’s “most hated” list can expect another appearance on one of the most notorious lists in business today.

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