Truist, Wells Fargo sit at national average for mortgage customer satisfaction

Truist Financial Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co. finished just above the national average on customer satisfaction with a financial institution’s mortgage servicing offerings, according to a recent J.D. Power & Associates study.

Truist ranked 13th out of 22 banks and fintech companies, with a 718 score out of a possible 1,000.

Meanwhile, Wells Fargo was 14th with a 716 score — which was the national average score.

Both banks also ranked below three national and regional credit unions — USAA (797), Veterans United (768) and Navy Federal Credit Union (760) — that were ranked first through third overall, respectively.

Other banks with a significant current or pending Triad presence includes: PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (fifth with a 732 score) and Bank of America Corp. (tied for sixth at 731).

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As has been the case in recent J.D. Power mortgage satisfactions surveys, a fintech led the non-credit union financial institutions with Rocket Mortgage having a 750 score.

The rest of the top-five was Chase at 736, Citigroup at 733 and Fairway Independent at 732.

J.D. Power said the study’s six analytical categories were redesigned for the 2022 survey in alphabetical order: communication; digital channels; level of trust; loan offering meets my needs; made it easy to do business with; and people.

The study was conducted from June through August. It is based on responses from 5,915 customers who originated a new mortgage or refinanced within the past 12 months.

J.D. Power said the 2022 study reflects in part shrinking customer demand for mortgages with the surge in interest rates.

“What a difference a year makes,” J.D. Power said in its news release. “The U.S. mortgage industry has gone from record volume and profits in 2021 to a 22-year low in demand for new mortgages through the first half of 2022.”

“There is no denying the effects of rising interest rates on mortgage demand,” said Craig Martin, executive managing director and global head of wealth and lending intelligence at J.D. Power. 

“This is precisely the time when lenders need to differentiate themselves as trusted advisors who can guide customers through the lending process and offer valuable counsel along the way.”

“Unfortunately, less than one in three customers say their lenders were able to deliver that optimal experience.”

J.D. Power said a key finding for banks is that while approximately 40% of mortgage customers indicate a willingness to complete the entire lending process via self-service digital tools, 67% are currently interacting with human representatives via phone.

“Now, as the macroeconomic situation has reversed course, these relationship-driven attributes have become critical for lenders that want to convey a more unique value proposition and build more lifetime customers in a highly competitive marketplace,” said Tom Lawler, head of consumer lending intelligence at J.D. Power.

In April, J.D. Power released its overall customer satisfaction study for 2022 in which it determined regional banks and a recent national entrant into the Southeast banking market received the highest scores.

Meanwhile, Bank of America, Truist, PNC and Wells Fargo were listed at or in the bottom half of the 13 banks reviewed for Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

The J.D. Power reports typically measure satisfaction based on five categories (in order of importance): ease of navigation; appearance; clarity of information; range of services; and availability of key information.

For the 2022 rankings, the group placed higher emphasis on digital banking and how customers felt their bank was helping them deal with inflation.

The Southeast’s top performer was United Community Bank with a 730 score on 1,000-point scale.

Bank of America was seventh at 672, while PNC was 10th at 671, Wells Fargo 11th at 647 and Truist 12th at 640.

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