SOURCE: Ponemon Institute

June 17, 2008 08:30 ET

Ponemon Institute Releases Results of 2008 Most Trusted Companies for Retail Banking Study

Correlation Between Privacy Protection and Customer Retention Identified

TRAVERSE CITY, MI--(Marketwire - June 17, 2008) - Privacy and information management research firm the Ponemon Institute announced the results of the 2008 Privacy Trust Study for Retail Banking, measuring consumer perceptions of trustworthiness for retail banking institutes. In its sixth year, the study examines how issues related to consumer privacy and data security, and the ways in which retail banking institutions address those issues, translate to consumer opinion.

Among the most compelling results of the 2008 Privacy Trust Study for Retail Banking is an apparent correlation between a positive perception of a bank's respect for consumer privacy and a greater rate of customer retention. The Ponemon Institute finds the average length of a customer relationship among the five banks rated highest for privacy to be 7.68 years, or a 13 percent extrapolated churn rate. Among the five lowest rated banks the average relationship length was 4.6 years, or a 22 percent churn rate.

Overall, average privacy trust scores declined slightly in 2008 compared to 2007, owing in part to significant declines among banks suffering a major data breach event. U.S. Bank ranked highest for the third straight year. According to the Ponemon Institute, the five most trusted banks for privacy in 2008 are:

         2008                             2007

1. U.S. Bank (Minneapolis)     1. U.S. Bank (Minneapolis)
2. National City (Cleveland)   2. Bank of America (Charlotte)
3. SunTrust (Atlanta)          3. National City (Cleveland)
4. PNC Bank (Pittsburgh)          Wachovia (Charlotte)
   Citizens Bank (Providence)  4. PNC Bank (Pittsburgh)
5. Wachovia (Charlotte)        5. Chase (New York)

"Safeguarding customer information is an important priority at U.S. Bank. The results of the 2008 Ponemon Most Trusted Retail Banking Study reflects the ongoing commitment made by our U.S. Bank employees everyday," said Dan Burks, chief privacy officer at U.S. Bank. "We are, once again, very pleased to have earned high marks from our customers who trust in us to protect their privacy."

"We have long believed that respect for customer privacy is a worthwhile investment, and this year we've established a positive correlation between a high Privacy Trust rating and customer loyalty which, in turn, leads to greater per-customer profitability," said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder, Ponemon Institute. "The banks ranking in this year's top five, including U.S. Bank which has topped the list for three consecutive years, understand this correlation, and we applaud them for their efforts on behalf of their customers."

The 2008 Privacy Trust Study for Retail Banking was concluded in June 2008 and derived from a final sample of 6,404 surveys returned from U.S. adult consumers.

About the Ponemon Institute

The Ponemon Institute© is dedicated to advancing responsible information and privacy management practices in business and government. To achieve this objective, the Institute conducts independent research, educates leaders from the private and public sectors and verifies the privacy and data protection practices of organizations in a variety of industries.

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