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Customers Want More Banking Choices and Welcome the Entry of Digital Banks, J.D. Power Finds

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HSBC Ranks Highest in Singapore Retail Banking Satisfaction Study

SINGAPORE: 1 Aug. 2019 – The Monetary Authority of Singapore’s issuance of five new digital banking licenses will affect existing banks, as even more customers indicate they are interested to try digital banks, according to the J.D. Power 2019 Singapore Retail Banking Satisfaction StudySM.

Overall, customers’ satisfaction with their primary bank decreased marginally to 749 (on a 1,000-point scale) in 2019 from 755 in 2018. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of customers are interested in opening digital bank accounts, compared with 52% last year. This disruption is likely to spur traditional banks to up their game in meeting evolving customer needs.    

The majority (70%) of younger customers (those born in or after 1980) have raised their hands for the digital banks, compared with 59% for the remainder of customers. The Study found that while non-branch users are receptive to digital banks (64%), regular branch users are just as willing to using digital banks (66%). 

“Customers are the winners when they have more choices,” said Anthony Chiam, Regional Practice Leader, Global Business Intelligence at J.D Power. “On average, customers in Singapore have about five accounts, which include transaction, savings and deposit. If banks build relationships and help customers navigate financial planning complexities, they will benefit from the lifetime value of the customer.”

The study also finds that nearly half of the customers (47%) have multi-account programmes[1]. These accounts enable banks to attract new funds, but more importantly provide ways to deepen relationships with their customers. However, 23% of customers with these accounts are likely to switch their primary bank for better interest in the next 12 months, compared with 14% of customers who are not using multi-account programmes. This brings into question whether this move by the banks to increase customer loyalty is actually achieving its purpose.    

Following are some key findings of the 2019 study:

  • Customer ratings are essential to acquisition: More than three quarters (76%) of customers believe that knowing overall customer satisfaction rankings are important when choosing their primary bank.  
  • Spike in mobile banking adoption: Mobile app usage sharply increases to 65% in 2019 from 53% in 2018, while the use of other channels remains constant. This is much higher when compared with Hong Kong at 43%[2].
  • Customers do not feel they have a relationship with their bank: The advancement of digital channels means fewer human interactions with their customers. This has resulted in only 29% of customers feeling they have a close relationship with their banks. 

Study Rankings

HSBC ranks highest in retail banking customer satisfaction with a score of 769. HSBC scores highest in three of the six study factors: product offerings, fees and problem resolution. OCBC ranks second with a score of 764 and DBS ranks third with 752. 

The 2019 Singapore Retail Banking Satisfaction Study examines customer satisfaction with the products and services provided by their primary financial institution. The study measures overall satisfaction in six factors: account activities (39%); account information (17%); facility (12%); product offerings (12%); problem resolution (11%); and fees (10%).

The study is based on responses from 2,515 retail banking customers. Coverage includes eight major banks in the market, six of which are rank-eligible, with scores based on customers’ primary bank experiences. The study was fielded in May through June 2019. J.D. Power conducts a series of retail banking studies across key financial markets, including Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong and the United States. 

The study includes the Net Promoter Score® (NPS)[3], which measures cardholders’ likelihood to recommend their card issuer on a 0-10 scale.

Media Relations Contacts

Shahilia Bhagat; J.D. Power; Singapore; 65-3165-0120;

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

J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. These capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability. Established in 1968, J.D. Power has offices serving North America, South America, Asia Pacific and Europe.

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[1] Multi-account programme is a special saving programme that gives a customer extra interest when they credit salary and use other services, such as credit card, loan, bill payment or investment.

[3] Net Promoter,® Net Promoter System,® Net Promoter Score,® NPS,® and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc. Net Promoter,® Net Promoter System,® Net Promoter Score,® NPS,® and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.

Media Contacts

Geno Effler

Costa Mesa, California
(714) 621-6224