American Banker’s 2013 Survey of Bank Reputations concluded that while the banking industry still has a poorer reputation than any other major sector of the U.S. economy except for Congress, American consumers rank their personal banks highly.
For the third year in a row, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch tops the list of primary banks preferred by Millionaires, according to a new wealth level study released this week by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner.
Of the thousands of banks in the United States, almost half (47 percent) cited by Millionaire respondents failed to get more than a 1 percent response. Bank of America-Merrill Lynch was cited as their primary bank by 14 percent of Millionaires with a net worth between $1 million and $4.9 million (not including primary residence). This is up slightly from 13 percent in 2012.
Tied for second amongst Millionaire investors are Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase, both with 12 percent. This, too, is up from last year, 11 percent and 10 percent, respectively. From there it’s a significant drop to US Bank, which 4 percent of Millionaire respondents cited as the best bank.
Survey participants were asked to identify their primary bank with which they perform the most basic financial transactions such as checking and lines of credit.
Bank of America-Merrill Lynch is especially the bank of choice for Millionaires under the age of 45 (24 percent). This age group is the most likely to name a banker as the type of advisor they use to manage their assets, 20 percent vs. 10 percent of respondents overall. The highest percentage of Millionaires (35 percent) prefers to use a full service broker, the Millionaire Corner study finds.
Bank of America-Merrill Lynch is also the bank of choice for Millionaire senior corporate executives (21 percent) and managers (20 percent).
The American banking industry is steadily regaining the confidence of Americans, according to a Gallup poll conducted in June. American confidence in U.S. banks increased to 26 percent, up from the unprecedented low of 21 percent in 2012. At the time of the survey, the percentage of Americans saying they have either “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in U.S. banks was at its highest since June 2008, but well below the pre-recession level of 41 percent measured in June 2007.
Similarly, American Banker’s 2013 Survey of Bank Reputations, also released last June, concluded that while the banking industry still has a poorer reputation than any other major sector of the U.S. economy except for Congress, American consumers rank their personal banks highly.
Bank of America, one of the nation’s four top banks along with Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, and Citigroup, serves approximately 51 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 5,300 retail banking offices and approximately 16,350 ATMs and online banking with 30 million active users and more than 13 million mobile users, according to its website. In its most recently quarterly report. the bank reported its second-quarter 2013 net income rose 63 percent to $4.0 billion from $2.5 billion in the second quarter of 2012.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.