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2016 Consumer Survey: Banks, Credit Unions, and Advocacy

As part of our ongoing effort to gather more data about the banking industry, we surveyed 1000+ random U.S. consumers ages 24 through 65+. We asked them five questions about the industry, and we've listed the results below.

1. 80% said that being an advocate means fighting on their behalf

The word "advocate" is a hot topic in the banking industry, but it's hard to pin down what the word means to consumers. Because of this, we first asked consumers what "advocate" meant to them.

Those with a higher income were more likely to say that advocacy meant "fighting on my behalf."


2. Financial education and tools are a major component of advocacy.

To further clarify what consumers mean when they talk about advocacy, we asked for specific solutions that financial institutions could provide to their account holders. According to the results, the single best thing financial institutions can do to advocate for consumers is to provide better interest rates.

However, since 22% of respondents favored teaching them how to manage money and 17% favored providing financial management software, banks and credit unions may see the best success of all by implementing these solutions in conjunction — especially because lowering interest rates is often out of the question.

Young Gen Xers favor financial education more than older Gen Xers/Boomers: 

The elderly are by far the most interested in getting better rates:


3. Most people belong to a big bank, but there are demographic differences

There's interesting subdata here showing that credit unions are more popular in the West, while community banks are more popular in the South.


4. Consumers are almost evenly split on believing that their financial institution advocates for them

In urban areas, men tend to be less satisfied than women:


5. People tend to favor financial institutions that have their best interest in mind

This result comes as no surprise, but the data shows that consumers currently tend to favor access to ATMs about the same as access to the best mobile apps.

The elderly were more likely to choose having their best interests in mind than the young were.

For more data on banking, check out these articles:

Topics: Technology