JPMorgan Wins Popularity Contest: Why It Matters for Investors

What do these poll results tell us about big banks?

John Grgurich
John Grgurich
Sep 26, 2012 at 12:00AM
Other

Apparently, what happens in London stays in London. At least that's one of the conclusions you can reach based on the results of a customer-satisfaction survey just released by Harris Poll: Only 15% of JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) retail-bank clients had heard about the bank's London Whale trading debacle.

This is good news for both the bank and its investors: As big as that event was to the media (as it should have been; the bank lost more than $5 billion on the bungled trade), the news seemingly never made it far enough down the line to infect the bank's retail clients, which account for a significant $415 billion of JPMorgan's total deposits.

They love me, they love me not
The other big takeaway from the poll is that Chase just flat-out beat its competition from an overall customer-satisfaction perspective. Here's how each scored:

  • JPMorgan Chase: 59/100
  • Citigroup (NYSE: C): 57/100
  • Bank of America (NYSE: BAC): 57/100
  • Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC): 56/100

Four years out from the financial crash, in the face of regulation that has changed how banks can make money, as well as just an overall depressed world economy in which not nearly as much business is being done, U.S. banks are scrambling to keep the revenue rolling in. For the superbanks, like JPMorgan, Bank of America, and Citigroup, retail is going to need to play an increasingly bigger role in doing that. So the more they can keep mom-and-pop depositors happy, the more money will keep rolling in: hence, the better for both banks and their investors. Well done then, Jamie Dimon. Other CEOs, take note.

Speaking of the devils, The Motley Fool has just published an in-depth company report on Bank of America, one of the country's most talked-about banks, detailing its prospects along with three reasons to buy and three reasons to sell. Just click here to get access.