BofA’s Customers Don’t Hate Bank As Much As Non-Customers (But They Aren’t Happy)

It’s no secret that Bank of America is the most-reviled of the nation’s large banks, mostly for its handling of the mortgage mess, including the most recent allegations that it deliberately deceived troubled borrowers in order to nudge them toward foreclosure. But even though BofA’s customers gave it the lowest marks in a new survey of banks’ reputations, those customers don’t hate the bank anywhere near as much as people who have no financial ties to it.

American Banker has released the results of its latest reputation survey, in which the publication asks consumers questions intended to measure “trust, admiration and respect, good feeling and overall esteem” of the country’s 30 largest banks. AB then breaks those results out into scores from customers and non-customers.

For each of the 30 banks, customers provided higher scores for their banks-of-choice than those scores given by non-customers. Bank of America scored the lowest in both categories, earning a 52.55 from customers and a lowly 35.9 from non-customers.

Citi fared only slightly better than BofA with non-customers, earning a meager 42.38. However, its customers think a bit more highly of the brand, giving it a 63.25, good enough for a 27th place finish.

Wells Fargo had the second-worst score from customers at 55.75, but non-customers apparently didn’t think much worse about the bank, as they gave it a score of 50.54. This was the narrowest gap between the two categories.

The largest disparity between customers and non-customers was on U.S. Bank. Customers of the bank gave it a respectable 72.14, the tenth-highest of all the banks in the survey. But non-customers only gave U.S. Bank a 50.70, putting it near the bottom of that list.

Not a single one of the banks scored above 80 on the survey. Union Bank and Ally came closest with customers giving them scores of 78.15 and 77.10, respectively.

But while about half the banks scored between 60-80 from customers, only five banks — Charles Schwab, E-Trade, Zions, Huntington, and Regions — cracked that tier in the survey of non-customers. Schwab had the best reputation among non-customers, with a score of 63.31.

In general, the public still hates the banking business. The financial sectors came in dead last when compared to more than a dozen others, including much-loathed industries like airlines, pharmaceuticals, insurance, telecom, and media.