SOURCE: AlixPartners


December 15, 2009 15:33 ET

36% of Likely Voters Say Attitude Toward Banks Will Affect Their Vote

A Third Say They or Someone They Know Has Been Mistreated by a Bank; 22% of Large-Bank Customers Plan to Switch to Local Banks

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - December 15, 2009) - As the Financial Stability Improvement Act is right now being hotly debated on Capitol Hill, another important group is expressing its view about banks and bank behavior: bank customers.

In a survey released today by the global business-advisory firm AlixPartners LLP, a significant percentage of Americans who voted in the past two years -- 36% -- said how they feel about banks today will affect how they vote in the 2010 elections. In addition, an identical 36% of the 1,000 survey respondents said they or someone they know has been mistreated by a bank in the past year -- with the customer dropping that bank as the outcome in the majority of such situations. In addition, 22% of large-bank customers said they plan to switch to local banks, which they view generally as being more trustworthy.

The results of the AlixPartners survey are largely consistent across several demographics. On average, 75% of those polled expressed unhappiness at banks. These negative sentiments were only 6% greater than average for consumers with income greater than $75,000, 4% greater for college graduates and 9% greater for those over 55 years old.

"It's not just President Obama who has had some tough language for bankers of late. As this survey shows, banks' own customers are likely to be speaking out soon -- both with their pocketbooks and with their votes," said Pierre Buhler, a managing director of AlixPartners and co-lead of the firm's financial services practice. "If for no other reason than to avoid potentially onerous regulation, banks and other financial institutions need to factor this populist sentiment into their business strategies. And that includes, among other things, operating improvements such as new methods in hot-button areas such as foreclosure strategy, collections strategy, customer service and other areas that help build a bank's brand."

They survey also found that while 22% of large-bank customers said they plan to switch to a local bank, just 8% of local-bank customers said they plan to jump to a large bank.

Said Will Harris, a director in AlixPartners' financial services practice, "This survey also shows there are lots of opportunities out there for financial institutions that can really listen to what consumers are saying today. That can maybe be summed up as: 'Even if you're not a local bank, treat me -- the consumer -- like you are one. Make your brand connect with me just like the corner bank of yesteryear used to connect their customers -- integrity, service, respect.'"


AlixPartners' "Bank Customers Talk Back to Banks" survey was polled 1,000 Americans Dec. 3-4 using a sample panel statistically weighted to represent the U.S. population ages 18 and over, across four key demographic attributes: age, gender, region and race.

About AlixPartners

AlixPartners LLP is a global business-advisory firm offering comprehensive services to improve corporate performance, execute corporate turnarounds, and provide litigation consulting and forensic accounting services. The firm's specialty is urgent, high-impact situations when results really matter. The firm has more than 900 professionals in 14 offices across North America, Europe and Asia, and is on the Web at

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