A recent survey of U.S. adults revealed that community bank and credit union customers are more satisfied than big bank — or megabank — customers. As a leading community mutual bank serving North Jersey since 1887, we can’t say we’re surprised, but we sure are proud to represent this category of financial institutions.
The study found an overwhelming majority of customers at community-based financial institutions (93%) say they trust their bank and feel very loyal (84%) toward their institution. Other significant takeaways from the survey include:
- 84% of community bank/credit union customers feel very loyal to their bank, compared to only 54% of megabank customers.
- 79% of community bank/credit union customers believe their bank has their best interests at heart, compared to only 42% of megabank customers.
- 78% of community bank/credit union customers feel their bank does not take advantage of them with all the fees, compared to only 58% of megabank customers.
- 71% of community bank/credit union customers said their bank only offers them products that are relevant to them, compared to only 42% of megabank customers.
- 70% of community bank/credit union customers see their bank as a partner in managing their finances, compared to only 42% of megabank customers.
To understand why mutual banks (which are community banks) are able to offer the service and products that yield such satisfied customers, let’s take a quick look at the history of these institutions. The first mutual banks were established in the 1800s, where in some instances they were referred to as “Building Societies.” Members of a community — working people who otherwise could not afford to buy or build their own home — would join a cooperative Building Society, each contributing an amount of money that would be advanced to one of the members as a “mortgage” to buy or build a home. The mortgage would be repaid and additional contributions made, eventually allowing each member to own their own home. Rather than traditional bankers who loaned money for profits, these societies were created to benefit the community and its members.
While times may have changed, the working philosophy of mutual banks remains intact: to help customers, local businesses and communities prosper. NVE Bank has proudly carried on this tradition for over 128 years, serving the people of Northern New Jersey and continuing to grow and prosper as one of the strongest mutual, community-based organizations in the Garden State.
Here are a few instances where banking with a mutual bank may yield benefits for you and your family:
As we’ve established, mutual banks are in place to benefit the surrounding community, and part of that benefit stems from the people who work there. If your mutual bank has branches located in or near an area where you’re considering purchasing a home, you don’t just have bankers … you have neighbors! At NVE, our headquarters are in Englewood but we have 12 branches throughout Northern New Jersey, so unlike what you may find with big banks, all our decision makers are located across town, not across the country. That means you’ll have access to the people who can give you answers — quickly and efficiently — with a local point of view. The confidence and peace of mind that can instill in a home buyer can be invaluable. As a mutual bank, we can also offer customers competitive mortgage rates to make their home-buying dreams become a reality.
Mutual banks like NVE have a vested interest in controlling risk and act as a stable local financial influence. We have no exposure to risky sub-prime loans or fragile European markets. The vast majority of our customers — both commercial and consumer — live and do business in the towns we serve.
At mutual banks, customer satisfaction is a priority. Just a couple of years ago, an Ernst & Young survey of nearly 30,000 bank customers revealed insights and patterns behind their behavior. Worldwide, the number of customers planning to change banks had increased from 7% to 12%, and this survey provided a look at some of the reasons why. Interestingly, several of the lacking areas are where mutual banks tend to excel, including: proximity of branches, poor branch experience, and — one of the leading motives — lack of personalized contact.
Mutual banks are big enough to serve the needs of the community, yet small enough to care for each customer. At NVE, for example, we offer a full range of products and services that compare with any of the large financial institutions, but we offer one thing bigger banks can’t: an unparalleled commitment to customer satisfaction.
For information on NVE products and services, go to www.nvebank.com or visit one of our NVE Bank neighborhood branches, conveniently located throughout Bergen County, and speak with one of our Branch Associates. You can also call us at 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265).