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US Banks – Bank of America receives over a quarter (27%) of negative comments online about the US financial sector

American Express (Amex) achieves highest share of positive comments (43%)  and highest Net Sentiment Score (56%)

Columbus, OH. 6 OctoberSocial media research specialist DigitalMR releases latest findings on what customers are saying about US financial services online.

DigitalMR analysed thousands of customer comments regarding banks for the month of July 2011. For the first time, a large proportion of customer views monitored were positive (62%), compared with 38% being negative about their customer experiences.

The banking service brands with the highest share of overall mentions were: Amex (35%), Bank of America (20%), Citibank (15%), and Wells Fargo (13%).

There was, however, a large difference between the positive and negative mentions that these banks generated. Amex achieved the highest share of positive mentions (43%) compared with a 20% share of all negative mentions.

Conversely, Bank of America attracted the largest share of negative comments (27%) which outweighed its share of positive ones (15%).
Taking the difference between positive and negative posts into consideration, the clear winner for July is Amex with a Net Sentiment Score (NSS) of 56%. This is followed by US Bank with 34%.

Third placed is Citibank which achieved a NSS of 23% for July, which would suggest it has recovered from the negative coverage in June that hackers had accessed 200,000 account holders’ details.

A strong NSS score is an indication of high overall satisfaction levels among customers.Only two banks had a negative NSS – Bank of America with a NSS of minus 6% and HSBC with minus 7%.

DigitalMR’s report (powered by SocialNuggets) analyses thousands of customer comments posted via a range of relevant finance related websites and open access social media platforms. It measures not only the number of comments posted by consumers on the internet, but also sentiment – whether these posts are positive or negative.

Results are based on comments posted by consumers on the major US banks: CitiBank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, US Bank, American Express, HSBC, Capital One, Barclays, JP Morgan Chase Manhattan and US Bancorp.

Ryan Rutan, President of DigitalMR USA commented: “for the first time, nearly two-thirds of all customer feedback measured has been positive. This shows that it’s not just the bad news that travels fast – customers like to share experience of good service via social media. The report is very positive for Amex in particular and the banking industry in general –although individual banks such as Bank of America and HSBC still have a lot of work to do to turn their negative feedback around.”


1)  Net Sentiment Score (NSS)

Most of the banks we measured, achieve a positive Net Sentiment Score (NSS) for July. NSS provides an overall percentage score of net positive posts. A positive score means a bank attracts more positive than negative posts, while a negative score suggests a higher proportion of negative posts.

The average NSS taken across all banks measured is 25%, which shows that US consumers are happy to use social media as a space to spread praise as well as share experiences of frustration and unhappiness with the service they had experienced.


Net Sentiment Score ranking

Amex                       56%
U.S Bank                 34%
Citibank                   23%
Barclays                  18%
Capital One              15%
US Bancorp              11%
Wells Fargo              7%
J.P Morgan               6%
Bank of America       -6%
HSBC                      -7%


2)  Breakdown of positive and negative posts

banks positive comments US July

banks negative comments US July

3)  Features and Services

DigitalMR measured thousands of customer posts across July regarding the services and features that banks offer. Services attracting a much higher proportion of positive mentions to negative ones were: Credit Cards (24% positive vs 16% negative) and Credit Card Incentives (11% positive vs 1% negative).

Services attracting a higher proportion of negative comments were: Loans (18% positive vs 27% negative) and Mortgages (12% positive vs 23% negative).

4)  In their words –customer comments

American Express:

“Amex, you guys are excellent. Your transactions reconcile faster then any other banks I deal with, your gold card knows no limits (pardon the pun), & your customer service is top notch. Never an issue disputing a charge on the off chance I have one and each time I have to use customer service, the staff is empowered to take a corrective step if necessary rather then asking a manager ever 30 seconds”

“@American Express Just wanted to say THANKS for 16 great years of service to me & my family. AMEX is the best. Cheers!”

US Bank:

“US Bank branch at 521 E. Bidwell in Folsom, CA is a small branch, but the people there are very helpful and customer service oriented.  Charles, the Branch Manager, is congenial and always does his best to talk to you and let you know he cares about your business and how well his branch is doing for you.  I've never had any situation with the branch that wasn't taken care of immediately and appropriately.  In many years they have never screwed up my account.  I can recommend this branch of US Bank with no reservations”

“I honestly say that I have had nothing but awesome experiences with this bank and staff.  The managers, Adam and Jaime are so friendly and helpful.  A couple of the staff are a bit snooty and not as friendly but for the most part, everyone is caring and easy to talk to. I hardly ever have to wait in line either!  LOVE THIS BANK”

Bank of America:

“This bank is awful! They tell you anything you want to hear while signing up. The checking account is completely free, we match your keep the change, and all this wonderful by that keeps customers coming back around! What they don't tell you is that if you have an account then it costs you nine dollars every time you interact with a teller! Nine dollars to come inside and have you check cashed??? They have slapped me multiple times with random fees that I have no clue where they even came from. I would advise any and everyone that is considering this bank to take your business else wear”

“I have two business accounts with BOA and also a BOA credit card account with them thinking one stop shopping... On multiple occasions, BOA Credit Card Company has to cancel my cards because they have put my CC at risk and had to issue another card immediately. BOA did not call me but just cancel and re-issue me a new card each time. I have to call them to see why my card cannot be utilize and they always says to use the BOA Debit Card in the mean time…..He would not help me and he didn't care if the phone call was recorded or if I close my accounts with BOA... SO that is exactly what I am going to do next.... Bunch of IDIOTS!”


“After several mistakes and rude and incompetent service, we will be making the move away from HSBC bank. Cynthia & Anthony at the branch do no phone back when they say they will, they don't take any ownership over resolving issues in a timely manner. Very Very frustrated at the lack of customer service and would not recommend them at all”

“I selected HSBC for my salary direct deposit…..Now I'm getting returned checks, and my salary was sent already on Friday and I'm waiting for you to send it back to my employer. I'm very dissatisfied with HSBC and I'll close my credit account as well”

5)    How can Banks use social media to their advantage?

Banks can use analysis of data from websites and other social media in the following ways:

  • Engage in a one-to-one dialogue with their customers and respond to negative comments. Invite some of the customers to join online forums and chat groups to further express their views
  • Positive sentiment can be leveraged in advertising
  • Operations can learn about and fix specific branch performance issues
  • Financial products can be adjusted, and new ones can be designed to meet customer needs

About the syndicated banking report

The monthly banking report monitors thousands of customers’ online conversations through comments posted on open-access social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, forums, blogs, microblogs and commercial websites, for UK banking services.

The report is available on annual subscription with updates provided on a quarterly, monthly or weekly basis. Results will be updated to the press on a monthly basis.


For regular reports and more information:

Ryan A. Rutan
tel: +1 (614) 638-0216


About DigitalMR
DigitalMR understands what people think and feel when they share views online. It is a specialist agency which provides a holistic approach to web based market research. It specialises in utilising social media research, especially active web-listening, and online communities to enhance its business consulting approach. The agency has pioneered new methods in online focus groups alongside tools such as video diaries, bulletin boards and online ethnography. DigitalMR is headed by founder and MD, Michalis Michael and has offices in London UK, Nicosia Cyprus, and Columbus Ohio, in the US.

About SocialNuggets
SocialNuggets technology delivers real-time market intelligence for fast moving industries by analyzing data from various social media sources with a mission to liberate social media data and sentiment analysis for use in real-time research of brands, products and features. SocialNuggets delivers ready to use market intelligence for various industry verticals including consumer electronics and banking. SocialNuggets data is delivered in bite size, ready-to-consume, infographics and is also available in the form of a full access to our data warehouse for analysis and integration with customers’ data. SocialNuggets, a Serendio company, was founded in 2011 with headquarters in Santa Clara, CA.



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