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One in Five Customers Looking to Switch from Their Main Bank, J.D. Power Finds

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OCBC Ranks Highest in Singapore Retail Banking Customer Satisfaction

SINGAPORE: 10 July 2017 — With nearly 20% of customers in Singapore considering leaving their primary bank for another in the next 12 months, banks need to strengthen their relationship and engagement with customers, according to the inaugural J.D. Power Singapore Retail Banking Satisfaction Study,SM released today. 

Among all banking channels, self-service channels such as ATMs, online and mobile banking are generating higher satisfaction scores than traditional high-touch channels like branch and call centre. 

“The migration of customers to self-service channels leaves banks with fewer opportunities to engage customers face to face,” said Anthony Chiam, practice leader, service industry at J.D. Power. “It becomes more challenging to provide complex financial advice or discuss products to meet the needs of a customer’s different life stages. The branch remains an important channel, and it is crucial for banks to strike the balance in their overall channel strategy.” 

The study finds that the average wait time at the branch is more than 12 minutes (12.4), which is three times longer than in the United States (3.6) and more than twice as long as in Australia (5.0) and Canada (6.1). Such a long waiting time at a branch discourages customers from in-person bank visits, with only 44% of customers having visited their primary banking branch in the past 12 months, also significantly lower than in the United States (71%), Australia (62%) and Canada (81%). 

The study also shows that 41% of bank customers used mobile banking apps in the past 12 months for services such as: checking account balances (80%), transferring funds between accounts (72%) and paying bills (51%). Satisfaction increases when apps offer additional features like receiving special offers (+54 points), applying for new banking products (+46) and providing alerts/notifications (+42). 

“The investments that banks have made in their mobile banking channels seem to be paying off,” said Gordon Shields, senior director at J.D. Power. “Encouragingly, 77% of customers indicate that they are likely to apply for a new account or product using a mobile banking app. This conveys the need for banks to tailor offerings and create the right user experience that will attract customers on the move.” 

On a 1,000-point scale, overall satisfaction is higher among banking customers who use a mobile banking app than does who do not (755 vs. 723, respectively). Similarly, these users are more inclined to recommend their bank, with 43% of users saying they “definitely would” recommend their bank to a family member, friend or colleague, compared with only 34% who have not used a mobile banking app in the past 12 months. 

Following are additional key findings of the study: 

  • Local banks vs. foreign banks: Local banks outperform foreign banks in the account activities (773 vs. 755, respectively) and facility (736 vs. 687) factors, while foreign banks perform better in product offerings (716 vs. 687) and fees (667 vs. 621).
  • ATMs are particularly problematic: Among retail banking customers, 36% indicate that they experienced their primary bank’s ATM being down or out of service in the past 12 months.
  • Mobile payments drive higher satisfaction: Customer satisfaction is higher (+31) among those who have a mobile payment service (e.g., Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay) linked to their bank account than among those who do not. Of the Millennial[1] customers who currently mobile payment services have linked to their accounts (42%), this trend is more pronounced with a satisfaction increase of +39 points.
  • Product feature understanding: Only 20% of retail customers say they “completely” understand the features and benefits associated with their main account. Customers who are confident about their understanding of the product features are far more satisfied than those who are not as confident (783 vs. 730, respectively). 

Study Rankings

OCBC ranks highest in customer satisfaction with retail banking with a score of 746, performing particularly well in account activities and fees. Citibank ranks second (745) and DBS ranks third (743) among the seven banks included in the study. 

About the Study

The 2017 Singapore Retail Banking Satisfaction Study examines customer satisfaction with the product and service provided by their main financial institution. The study measures overall satisfaction in six key factors: account activities (42%); account information (18%); facility (14%); product offerings (12%); fees (10%) and problem resolution (4%). 

The study is based on responses from 2,452 retail banking customers and was fielded in April-May 2017. 

J.D. Power conducts a series of retail banking studies across key financial markets, including Australia, Canada, China, Singapore and the United States.

Media Relations Contacts

Aisling Carty; J.D. Power; Singapore; 65-6733 8980;

Geno Effler; J.D. Power; Costa Mesa, California, USA; 001-714-621-6224; 

About J.D. Power in the Asia Pacific Region

J.D. Power has offices in Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo that conduct customer satisfaction research and provide consulting services in the automotive, information technology and finance industries in the Asia Pacific region. Together, the six offices bring the language of customer satisfaction to consumers and businesses in Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. J.D. Power is a portfolio company of XIO Group, a global alternative investments and private equity firm headquartered in London, and is led by its four founders: Athene Li, Joseph Pacini, Murphy Qiao and Carsten Geyer. Information regarding J.D. Power and its products can be accessed through the internet at

About J.D. Power and Advertising/Promotional Rules

[1] J.D. Power defines Millennials as those born between 1982 and 1994.

Media Contacts

Shahilia Bhagat


Geno Effler

Costa Mesa, California
(714) 621-6224