The US Open: Account Opening Experiences at Top US Banks

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1 November 2012


Celent opened accounts at each of the top banks in the US in order to rate various banking channels, including the branch experience.

In the report, The US Open: Account Opening Experiences at Top US Banks, Celent ranks both the branch experience and post-account opening experience at each of the top banks, examining how branch experiences can vary. The report also includes Celent’s views on what a branch experience should be.

The banks covered in this report are:

  • Bank of America
  • BB&T
  • Chase
  • Citibank
  • Fifth Third
  • HSBC
  • PNC
  • Regions
  • SunTrust
  • TD Bank
  • US Bank
  • Wells Fargo

Experiences varied widely: Some banks did thorough assessments of need, while others showed a list of checking accounts and left it at that. One branch was not able to open the account because systems were down.

One standout experience was at SunTrust. The bank actually starts with the customer and works from there. Instead of offering checking accounts, savings accounts, mortgages, and lines of credit, they spoke about managing daily finances, planning for major purchases, planning for the future, and preparing for the unexpected.

“Some banks truly positioned themselves as trusted advisors,” says Bart Narter, Senior Vice President of Celent’s Banking Group and author of the report. “While others seemed like order takers or commissioned sales people trying to move as much product as they possibly could. The breadth of experiences is breathtaking.”

The report first describes the methodology of how each bank branch experience is scored, along with an XCelent Award for the top scorer. It then evaluates the opening experience beyond what is captured in the scores, bank by bank. Finally, the report summarizes best-of-breed experiences across banks, providing key takeaways about the best of what an account opening experience can be.

This 23-page report contains 11 figures and two tables.