Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Dutch customers very satisfied with banks, no demand for branches but for differentiation

Consultancy firm CapGemini published a press release on Dutch bank customer research with the following findings:
- Dutch customers are very satisfied with their bank and give a 7,5 grade,
- banks do look a bit alike, especially niche-banks can distinguish themselves,
- access to banks is important, but not via means of bank branches; more than half of the customers doesn't ever use the bank branche,
- price is not an important factor in the appreciation of the bank but it is in the choice for another bank (most likely the mortgage/savings product change that we see here).

It will be interesting to note how the Dutch policy makers will react, given that there is still a draft law (by MP Crone) on the table that obliges banks to open up braches if necessary (see link here). And it will also be fun to see how policy makers accross Europe will be re-framing this customer research (done by an independent consultancy) into a position that consumers still do not like their banks, are unsatisfed and wish to choose other banks but are unable to.

They can (and will) most likely only revert to the false-consciousness arguments. This means that representatives of consumer or merchant organisations deny the results of research among their constitution that outlines that their members are happy and satisfied, by stating that their member may not be aware of the fact that they have a bad deal with their own bank. And that the fact that those memeber stick with their bank thus reveals the opposite: that they are unable and not free to leave the bank.