Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mapping The Vast Indoors

A few years ago, my old friend Brad McCallum (who is now at APOS integrating BI and GIS) and I were doing a trade show for ESRI when Brad had a thought.  All of this trade show should be in a GIS, not just in a paper map.  And you should be able to use it to find what you want and navigate the show.

To which I said, all space can be mapped, including indoor spaces - and not just malls and airports and bus and train terminals, but casinos and libraries and you name it.  Including the space between your ears.  This is where GIS and CAD show their common parentage. 

Another good friend and colleague and GIS developer extraordinaire Kurt Gunther did just this - with hospital beds, in his great eBeds software that manages hospital beds, and the folks in them and serving them, just like they were GIS features.


Today, Google made it real for the average person.  "Google Maps 6.0 for Android brings the freestanding map directory to the palm of your hands," announced today on the Google blogs. These detailed floor plans automatically appear when you’re viewing a map and zoom in on a building where indoor map data is available.

For now, the data is limited - Ikea, a few Macy's, the Mall of America, a few major airports.  But we all know where we're going.  Where Brad said we would, more than ten years ago.  And the possibilities, for those of us in GIS land in general, and in ESRI and APOS land in particular, are infinite.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Bank of America Backs Down On $5 Monthly Debit Card Fee

Graphic: Joe Lackow
As it turns out, it was a short wait before Bank of America decided to cancel the $5 monthly debit card fee, wherein the customer is explicitly charged for accessing their own money with a card instead of a paper check.  Wasn't the whole idea to use the cheaper, greener card payment?  Nuh uh.  I guess.

Anyway, the bank announced today that they are backing down.    And the statement came directly from the COO, who is probably livid with his PR people right about now.  The official statement, from David Darnell, the Bank's Co-COO, which is probably just how Dave feels today.

"In response to customer concerns and the changing competitive marketplace, Bank of America no longer intends to implement a debit usage fee.  We have listened to our customers very closely over the last few weeks and recognize their concern with our proposed debit usage fee,  Our customers’ voices are most important to us. As a result, we are not currently charging the fee and will not be moving forward with any additional plans to do so."

In other words, we invited regulatory, governmental and public scrutiny, we misinterpreted our original customer research, we were cynical about the stickiness of electronic banking and its weight on customer inertia, we failed to gauge the social climate about as badly as we misjudged the competitive climate - and our major competitors became so upset that we upset consumers so much, they cut and ran and left us twisting in the wind, alone.


I know that Pete Hart, who I worked for at First Interstate and who later became President of MasterCard and Cirrus and knows as much about how people like to use payment cards as anyone ever has, is bemused right now.  The industry got a black eye, and the COO had to step in, because they just don't have solid marketing people and strategic planners like Pete Hart and Dick Rosenberg at the helms of these big banks anymore.


Leading a balanced life with Richard M. Rosenberg, former CEO of Bank of America from Jewish Community Federation on Vimeo
Pete has retired, but Dick - who once ran Bank of America, and when he did, said that the assets of the bank walk out the door and go home every night - will still tell you how to live a balanced life.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Wells, Chase, Others Back Down on Debit Card Fees

Hey baby, there ain't no easy way out.

Wells Fargo announced on Friday that the 5 state test of debit card fees started on October 14 will be canceled.  TD Bank, the Canadian bank that acquired Commerce Bank last year, followed suit.

And, word is leaking out of Chase, accoding to the AP, that they will stop charging their $3-per-month fees when the current Wisconsin and Georgia pilots end next month.

Bank of America had news on Friday, too.  As with Chase, an unidentified source told the AP that B of A will offer ways for its customers to avoid debit card fees through using direct deposit, maintaining minimum balances and/or using their Bank of America credit cards.

Citibank, where debit card fees are already implicitly reflected in fees as high as $20 a month for the underlying checking account, is going to town talking about their never did, never will policy towards debit card fees.

Countering that, at least one credit union - Bethpage FCU in New York - is offering Free Checking for Life for new members of the Credit Union.  With commercial banks (like Chase) offering bounties of $100 or more to acquire a new customer, that might be pretty sharp marketing - communicating peace of mind and value, and spreading the bounty out over a longer period of time.

One thing is for sure.





The Waiting is the hardest part.  Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, THANK YOU for supporting KCSN and playing our beautiful little Plaza del Sol theater at Cal State Northridge on Saturday night.  We will never forget you.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Relative Strengths of Banks v. Credit Unions

Copyright California CU League, graphic Joe Lackow 2011
In the past couple of weeks, we've seen a lot of anti-bank sentiment in response to the announcement of debit card fees, in the wake of reduced interchange income for the banks.  It has been salt in the wound of a huge bailout and  the role of banks in the foreclosure crisis, followed directly by bonuses and record profit.

This has extended to at least one representative in Congress who stood before us and told Americans to dump Bank of America to send a message about the $5 debit card fee.  I don't know about you, but as much as we may find banks culpable, I don't think that is very fair, nor is it the place of government to do.

As if consumers needed to be told, anyway.  They know how to vote with their feet really, really well.

And the Nightly Business Report video in the upper right of this page is but one example in a torrent of media coverage about Americans leaving B of A and other big banks in droves, and heading to their latest credit union.  In fact, one of our major CU clients hung signs in their branches with a big $5, in a big red circle, with a big red slash through it.  Other reports, from credit union leagues to the bar on the corner, are that there is a significant uptick in CU membership happening right now.

But whether you are a bank or a credit union or a consumer, there is something solid to be sold and to be bought, and tradeoffs to be made.  As the NBR report suggests, those who value convenience and security and the latest technology might do well to stay put with their big bank, because they do those things well and provide value for those fees.  And those who are value-oriented, prefer a bit more old-fashioned service, and care about credit union values like co-ownership would do well to investigate their credit union options.

Regardless, it's time to face facts, America.  It costs quite a bit for a bank or credit union to do all it needs to do to provide you with a good, solid, safe checking account, and there is quite a bit of value there - despite the fact that this has been given away by so many and for so long.  As always, it is a matter of understanding what one's customers and members want and demand; how one's competitors react and what they offer and charge; and the overall environment in which services are offered and consumed.

And most of all, every financial institution and every American should understand that BANKS DON'T MAKE MONEY OFF A SINGLE SERVICE CHECKING RELATIONSHIP, AND NEVER REALLY COULD.  It is the broader customer relationship that is profitable, to all concerned.  And to those who point to customers who generate a lot of NSFs and overdrafts, let me tell you something.  Relying on the kind of marginal customer who generates enough of these fees to seem profitable in the short and medium term will jump up and bite you on the ass one day - when they go belly-up on you.

Almost everyone's financial needs extend well beyond a checking account, and it is crucial to seek out relationship, whether based on transactions, consumer credit, home oriented lending, saving, investing, insurance and most likely, a combination of these that is market segment-specific.  Banks and credit unions will be most successful as they become more consultative, and move towards fee-based offerings like financial planning, retirement planning, college savings and planning, and medical savings and planning.  Rather than trying to make money on a sure loser, and one that has never really been logically charged for before.

You know where I'm going with this.  Where we always go.  To the GIS, where all of this data is integrated in one place to support informed product, service and fee decisions.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Debit Card Fees - Betting On Inertia & Control

Ann Page, B of A's spokesperson, told the NY Times the other day that the Bank did do "extensive research on how (customers) would react to a new fee and whether it was fair."  And that what this is really all about is that "People like online bill pay, it's convenient and safe... the lower attrition rate that came with it was simply a result of offering a valuable service."  She also pointed out the value that fraud protection, overdraft protection and lots of ATMs add to the debit card and the checking account.

The suggestion is that, when you put this all together, the research showed it was worth the added five bucks a month to an awful lot of customers.

However, there is online bill paying scheduled through the bank; and then, there is online bill paying done directly with the folks who are billing you, in which you provide the merchant or service provider or other bank with your routing and account number.  It is the latter that is much more prevalent.  Banks don't control online bill paying, they offer the convenience of aggregating and scheduling the payments in one place.  Which is valuable.  But not prevalent, and not growing anywhere near as fast as online payments in total.

But, even more importantly, we have two old, old sayings in retail banking administration that are really important.  One is that a legislated solution thrust on banks is the worst possible thing that could happen to everybody.  And the other is that, when you do need to impose or raise fees, one does this QUIETLY.

Well, the horse is kind of out of the barn on the latter.  And, on the former, there is a bill in Congress that will reduce the inertia and friction of moving a checking account to another bank when one has linked many electronic payments to that checking account.  In essence, the "Freedom and Mobility in Consumer Banking Act" will make it as easy to change checking accounts online as it is today to transfer credit card balances.  One will simply provide the routing and account number for their new bank to their old one.

That is why debit card charges make sense, but are a bad bet on inertia.  Despite the research.  Despite the the fact that online and mobile payments are making checking "stickier" and the numbers show that fewer Americans indeed are changing banks.

Then, there are the issues of context and timing.  Corporate earnings are high, on the way to job creation and new investments.  But so is unemployment, and people are losing patience.  So much so, in fact, that the context of the debit card fee introduction is the Occupy Wall Street phenomenon. Worst, worst of all, is failing to calculate the loss of immeasurable goodwill for the Bank and the industry.  When your actions fuel a fire that brings heat down on your whole industry, and protesters start looking for you at home with their demands -  this, this is not good.

Research is there to be applied, not to pass judgement.  As an old boss of mine at a big research supplier used to tell our clients, senior marketing people at major corporations, "Well, if it did, we wouldn't very well need you, would we?"  I also recall my COO at Great Western Bank, who once told me as his strategic planner, "You are looking out the back window.  And I appreciate the view.  But don't try to drive the car."

So, B of A did do their homework.  They just did it wrong.

But the fact is, a good checking account costs and is worth a lot.  Consumers are going to get used to understanding all these costs first, and then the value.  And then, we are going to be able to have everyone pay their fair share according to how much Bank they consume. 

And we'll find a much better time and a better way to tell them about it.

And, of course, GIS will play a role in creating, and communicating, the value the customer receives and why this costs so much damn money.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Don't Charge Me for Using My Own Money!

Bank of America's proposed $5 debit card fee is offering a virtually unprecedented treasure trove of consumer feedback.  Nearly every major newspaper and financial website has content and user comments about the proposed fee.

One of the richest sources is certainly at Change.org, where nearly a quarter million citizens signed a petition to the Bank to rescind the fees.

One thing is becoming very clear.  At its root, the consumer marketing question for a bank remains the same - don't charge me to use my own money.  Consumers perceive that they should not be paying for accessing their checking accounts via card rather than via check at the point of sale.  What also remains is the fact that consumers don't understand the costs to the bank that are involved.

At the end of the day, consider that it is far better to sink these costs into the overall cost of monthly checking, than to charge explicitly for the debit card or use of the debit card that accesses it.  And there can be two kinds of Checking - one with debit, one without, priced accordingly, and perhaps differing somewhat across markets.

So, use all this consumer feedback as a departure point for engaging your own customers and prospects about this, by e-mail, on the web, in social media - and in surveys and focus groups.  And analyze how their concerns differ by segment and place in your GIS.  Then, you'll be in the best position to reprice and communicate.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

BAI RDC Online

Want to act more like a retailer but can't make it to Chicago?  Check out BAI Global Connect, where re-imagining the branch, and the banking role at the point of sale, are dominating the buzz.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Most Famous $5 Ever - Bank of America's Planned Debit Card Fees

Graphic: Joe Lackow
That's what CNBC called it.  PIRG called it a kick in the head.  Bert Ely, one of the most quoted banking consultants around and with good reason, called it an incredible marketing and PR debacle instituted without research or competitive positioning.

And, Jay Leno, on The Tonight Show, called it "B.S. of A."

I say, you didn't do your homework, Bank of America.  You did not consult your GIS, you did not do your financial analysis, you did not research your customers, you probably asked your customer contact staff but then ignored them anyway.  And you sure as heck didn't call RPM or Bert Ely or Dave Kerstein or Steve Reider - or anybody else  - for data or focus groups or surveys or social network monitoring.  And boy does it show.

Banks used to make 44 cents from a merchant debit transaction.  Now they make 21 cents.  So.  The bank needs to recover 23 cents a transaction, and at $5 a month, that is about 22 merchant debit transactions.  Some people make that many, some make even more.  Most don't and quite a few make just a few.  And a whole lot of folks have a debit card they didn't even ask for and don't even use - they just wanted a Checking account and an ATM card - and they are really going to be wondering what the hell this five bucks gets them.

The bank has really good GIS people, great branch networkers, I know that for a fact.  But I don't think management ever asked them to look at the GIS and determine which lifestyle segments make the vast proportion of debit transactions, and where they are.  Hell, they had a hard enough time getting funded for a contemporary GIS at all.  It would have been a small investment to determine test markets, rationalize the pricing, find ways to cut branch costs, and communicate the changes in an information-driven way - and collect a windfall nobody would take offense with, not to mention avoid national umbrage and great annoyance expressed on late night TV.

It's even worse than that, evidently nobody ever asked Marketing or Planning either, and did a competitive matrix, and see who is charging what and where and to who and for what.  And that would also have clearly shown that $5 is out of whack.  $2 or $3 sounds so much nicer.  More like other banks charge. And more accurately reflecting the "lost" - reduced - revenue.

Add some uncharacteristically poor PR, et voila, you're not on Letterman's Top 10 list, you ARE Dave's new Top 10 List.

It's been a rough time for the banks lately.  You might want to take body armor to the BAI Retail Delivery show with you this coming week.

And B of A, your website has been down a lot, too.

The old B of A would have done this in a market driven, information driven manner.  And the new B of A will learn heartily from this experience, and will do that.  I'm calling that one right now, they'll get this horse back in the barn.  And marketing tech will help drive that.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Vaya Con Buddha, Steve Jobs



Every product development person alive feels sick and sad right now at the passing of Steve Jobs, the greatest new product guy since Da Vinci.  Because, most of the whole world is saddened by this news, and no one in that world was not touched by this man and what he did.  But most, most of all, what a terrible loss for Laurene and the kids, my very best thoughts are with you tonight.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Apple Magic - Poof?

I thought the new iPhone 4s looked pretty cool at the unveiling today.  It's got the iPad 2 dual core processor under the hood now, better battery, much better wi-fi connectivity, worldwide compatibility, up to 64GB storage, and a MUCH better camera.

Courtesy of InfoWorld
And, it's the first version with Siri, the voice-driven intelligent assistant that Apple acquired the technology for last year.

But it's not the awaited iPhone 5, which a lot of people were expecting today.  No 4G.  No bigger screen, no improved case.  Etc.  So, while I see a much better phone, available everywhere now except on T-Mobile and MetroPCS, with the prior iPhone 4 just 99 bucks, it seems that disappointment abounds.

And it begs the question, is the Apple magic waning, in this, the start of the post-Jobs era?

Not really.


Despite the fact that early investments in Apple (like Xerox in a prior day) have made a lot of us wealthy, the fact is that Apple has never been able to sustain steady, long term equity growth.  Growth has been spectacular when it comes, but there have always been huge proportional declines.  Take a look at the chart and ask yourself, how is Apple to sustain the current growth trend?  Is there another iPad and iPhone to be pulled out of the hat?

Hint: it would be nice if a phone you buy today has 4G, which will be important over the total life of the phone.  Unless you like having to keep upgrading.  It would also be nice if someone really addressed - and emphasized - real cell phone security.  An unencrypted password for the phone and a 4 digit PIN number for my e-Wallet does not make me feel very secure.  Especially on an OS shot through of potential breaches.  And that is why every IT person you are likely to talk to will tell you that, given their preferences, there wouldn't be ANY mobile devices to manage securely in the enterprise, but the iPhone and iPad are clearly their preference if it has to be.

Back in the day, the lack of security nearly killed Windows in the enterprise.  Google would do well to take that lesson to heart with Android, and do it yesterday.  It is going to be an absolute given for Wallet, their mobile payment system, and everywhere security is a concern.

Which, unfortunately, and unhappily, is one long term trend that still appears to have plenty of upside in an overwhelming, international, climate of fear.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Google Wallet - Mobile Payments Finally Arrive. Sort Of.

With the Google wallet, released yesterday, mobile payments on smartphones have arrived!

Well, only on the Sprint Nexus 4G.  Only with a Citibank MasterCard (or Google PrePaid, though others are coming).  And, only with MasterCard Pay Pass merchants (which does include biggies like Bloomies and Macy's, megachains like Foot Locker, Radio Shack, and Toys "R" Us; big drugstores like Walgreens & CVS Pharmacy, fast food outlets like 7-Eleven, McDonald's, Jamba Juice, and Subway; and big box stores like Best Buy and Home Depot.)

Google Wallet allows users to store credit cards, loyalty cards, and gift cards - and to receive and redeem loyalty and sales promotions - on their mobile phone.  Yes, it's kind of like your physical wallet.  The big enabling technology is NFC, "near field communications" that allow secure payments by simply tapping the phone on any PayPass-enabled terminal at checkout.

Experience suggests that the faster the merchant throughput, the more valuable the technology will be.  For example, fast food and convenience stores (and supermarkets, and gas stations) have always led the way on innovative payment systems.  But it only takes a moment's reflection to imagine what this could mean at a store like Home Depot, with its excruciatingly slow point of sale.  And, the value that this offering could add to a banking customer relationship, with the right kind of customer.  I am reminded of the advent of ATM machines, which were thought of as a huge cost to reach what were considered marginally profitable customers.  Of course, analysis showed that early ATM users used more banking services and were highly valuable relationships, and today no bank would dream of operations today without them, as the ATM itself becomes more functional and a richer experience.

Google will add VISA and Amex in the coming months, and other Android phones will start shipping with NFC chips, and other carriers will start lining up.  When the next iPhone ships next month, it's gonna have NFC.  Then, let's see where Apple can drive.  Like, straight to the heart of the early adopters.

So.  What does this mean for you, and your bank?  If you don't already know which demography and Tapestry segments are driving mobile usage - and social networks - hurry up please, it's time.  Your GIS awaits.






.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

ESRI 2011 User Conference and Business Summit Highlights

Last week's ESRI Business Summit was, for the very first time, visualized and presented as a business conference rather than a GIS conference.  This reminds me of how Economy.com conferences are about business not econometrics.  What is critical to my business here?

Clearly, the answer to that question, at the Business Summit, and the broader ESRI User Conference, is the power of place.

Jack Dangermond was particularly compelling and inspirational this year, opening the conference with an explosion of applications from all over the globe and all over the chart, one positive "game changer" after another after another. 

Timothy and Michele Schilling astounded everyone on Monday afternoon with their tale of improving the income of Rwandan families tenfold in a decade by using GIS to process and market Rwandan coffee (broadly available under the Community Coffee brand in the U.S.)  All of these presentations underscored doing good and doing well, the role of private for-profit companies in creating social as well as economic wealth.

Jacqueline McGlade of the European Environmental Agency talked about the private citizen's role in climate change, and was very moving and inspirational as well.  Just One Degree = catastrophic climate change, but just one person can act.  Jane Goodall's Roots and Shoots, same deal.

videoAt the Business Summit, Warner De Gooijer of Cisco (video) gave a great, clear explanation of how Cisco uses GIS as the backbone of their supply chain through which customer parts can be delivered anywhere in the world, from the closest warehouse to the needy customer, in within as little as two hours.  In the same set of discussions, Nigel Davis of Willis Re (the insurance companies insurance company) talked about using crowd sourcing information from social networks like Twitter to help evaluate and manage risk and losses in a disaster.  And Michelle Ellington of the University of Kentucky showed the history of facilities management at the university from paper maps to digital GIS, all the while using the process as a tool to bring stakeholders together.  When I asked the panel for a model of how GIS developed in their organizations, they all agreed that find a senior manager champion, build strong GIS staff with interpersonal skills, and architect solutions as close to the heart of IT as possible were the keystones.

Earlier, Matt Mikula of Edward Jones provided a glimpse of the history of GIS usage at Edward Jones that was somewhat like Michelle's, but with the usual reticence towards fundamental systems changes at many financial institutions - where it's usually best to be second and allow someone else to be bleeding on the edge, and where IT is often tasked with wiring together different generations of technology that ends up looking like something out of the movie "Brazil".  Another Matt, Matt Felton of MacKenzie Commercial RE, was as enthusiastic as anyone in recounting how he makes GIS relevant to a large number of very different people and functions in his organization.  Genial Pat O'Hagan of Starbucks, who has become a fixture at this conference, was as helpful as always in explaining how Starbucks puts GIS - and business intelligence - to work.

RPM Map Gallery Entry, "Geography at Work"
RPM did its part by participating in the Map Gallery - which everybody should do, and also bring guests and family to the Reception on Monday night.  And, Elio stood fondly by as our longtime friend and RPM client Scott McClymonds of ARVEST Bank won a SAG Award for Special Achievement in GIS.  We began extending and enhancing the customer database using GIS with Scott in 1993.

In short, this was the best conference since the economic downturn and pone of the best ever.  With 15,000 attendees, it was also the largest..

Here's Business Analyst 10 Service Pack 2

Fixes and improved performance await Business Analyst 10 desktop users in the BA 10 Service Pack 2. Here's a list of fixes, if you don't see yours, just holler.

ArcGIS 10 SP2 is recommended, but not required and you can install before or after BA10 SP2.
  
BA 10 SP2 Fixes
    • NIM062750 [SP2] BA 10: Changing project directory does not refresh until restarting BA.
    • NIM064837 [SP2] Running Market Area Gap Analysis report does not produce expected results when the option to Use all features in is selected.
    • NIM066107 [SP2] If a non-standard install path is selected, the following layers will have red exclamation marks and need to be resourced: Major Lakes, States labels, States border, States labels, States labels (Regional) and Countries.
    • NIM067407 [SP2] Store Setup - When using Store Setup on map ready data and in the Business Analyst Web.mxd the tool will fail with an error.
    • NIM067434 [SP2] The defined analysis extent is not always honored when running tools. The current map extent is used instead.
    • CQ124127 [SP2] Shopping Centers Report – Centers With Store ID 2 Show Up On Page With Store ID 1 On The Page Header
    • CQ158120 [SP2] BA Message Center – Recent Map Documents – Add “Business Analyst Web.mxd” To The List
    • CQ160494 [SP2] Trade Area Wizard - Huff Equal Probability – Incorrectly Prompts For Attraction Variable
    • CQ161898 [SP2] Segmentation Study reports do not have report logos
    • CQ167963 [SP2] If BA Is Installed, the Size of Normal.mxt File Increases After Every Start of ArcMap
    • CQ168183 [SP2] Upload/Download Tool: In ArcMap upload report template dialog is unavailable
    • CQ169770 [SP2] Color-Coded Maps toolbar should reflect changes in symbology done via Layer Properties in TOC
    • CQ170071 [SP2] Large trade areas that do not intersect BGs return zeros with spatial overlay or reports
    • CQ171520 [SP2] Message Centre L10N
    • CQ171884 [SP2] Threshold Areas Memory Error
    • CQ171979 [SP2] Color-Coded Maps Error For Specific Field With Online Data
    • CQ172047 DemoCalc doesn't work if there is no Blocks layer in the dataset
    • CQ172507 [SP2] Detailed Business Locations Report – Header Wrap Issue
    • CQ174072 [SP2] BA Message Center Fails When Dataset XML Is Not Available
    • CQ174536 [SP2] Help – Customer Prospecting Help Button Yields "This program cannot display the webpage" Message
    • CQ176843 DemoCalc Indexes Crashes for Custom BDS from County Areas
    • CQ177413 [SP2] Message Center Text Edit – Change “ESRI” to “Esri”
    • CQ178400 [SP2] Error when running Online Reports with Standard Geography Trade Areas created from Online Data
    • CQ178401 Search and Filter Control Crashes For Calculated Field Setup Dialog
    • CQ180186 [SP2] Create new summarizations_us.xml that corrects the inconsistent index base values in the scripts for the CEX _I variables and correctly changes the SummaryType to be SUM instead of CALC.
    • CQ180463 [SP2] Customer Derived Trade Areas GP Tool Error If ‘Associated Store ID Field’ Field Is Left Empty
    • CQ180793 [SP2] Reports – Demographic and Income Profile Report – State Annual Trend Is Blank for BG and Tract Level Standard Geographies Trade Areas
    • CQ180822 DIVINDEX90 (1990 Diversity Index) yields negative values
    • CQ181477 [SP2] The Business Locator report is not properly summing up the business counts and sales per trade area
    • CQ189576 [SP2] BA Geoprocessing tools do not create an output when using %scratchworkspace%
    • CQ190264 Simple Rings fail if store layer ID field contains NULL values
    • CQ190267 [SP2] BA GP Tools misuse ScratchWorkspace setting
    • CQ190602 [SP2] BA 10: IDS_CANT_SAVE_ADDRESS_INTO_XML An unhandled exception is encountered using Evaluate Site Wizard by entering an address.
    • CQ191517 [SP2] Geoprocessing Environments Default Workspace Paths Incorrectly Set To User Path of a BA Development Employee
    • CQ191540 [SP2] Remove (Or Replace) Single Line Geocoder Functionality From Bing Search in BA Toolbar
    • CQ191894 Color-Coded Maps ‘Unknown error’ When ‘USACensus2010’ Hierarchy Is Active
    • CQ192391 [SP2] Remove the “380 New York St, Redlands, CA” Bing Search Box Tooltip on the BA Toolbar
    • CQ192881 BatchReports GP Tool Creates Reports With Incorrect Names in Case Shape File Is Used as Input
    • CQ192884 Core Segments Report Fails if Target Groups Parameter Is Used
    • CQ193089 Provide User-Friendly Error Message in Color-Coded Maps Toolbar for USACensus2010 Dataset
    • CQ193288 Threshold Rings with Drive Time option doesn't work with Japan dataset
    • CQ193624 Next() operation crashes on ArcGIS Server on IStyleGalleryItemEnum interface if the object wasn't released correctly on the previous run
    • CQ193647 [Dev] BDS layers fail to be decoded using DecodeFeatureLayer method
    • CQ194338 [SP2] Cannot use custom BDS layers based on CBSA and DMA
    • CQ194614 [SP2] Upload Operation: File Based Repo/SDE Repo.: Unhandled Exception:System.IO.FileNotFoundException: Win 7 & Vista
    • CQ194617 [SP2] Download Operation: File Based Repo: Unhandled Exception :: Win 7 & Vista & XP
    • CQ195517 Add updated Help files to BA10SP2 setup
    • CQ195729 Online Reports Do Not Work Via Proxy Server
    • CQ195735 QuickReports GP Tool cannot work with %scratchworkspace%
    • CQ195906 [SP2] Evaluate Site Drive Time with All Reports Being Created in All Available Formats Doesn't Work
    • CQ195907 [SP2] Custom Data Setup: When Double-Clicking Field Categories It Incorrectly Highlights the Category and Fields Below Instead of Moving Them to the Right
    • CQ195908 [SP2] Two Online US Datasets Are Displayed in the Available Reports List
    • CQ195909 [SP2] Custom BDS with CEX Variables Cannot Be Saved
    • CQ195910 [SP2] Modern and Classic Report Styles Are Duplicated in Report Style Drop-Down Menu
    • CQ196176 [SP2] SDE: Download operation: Internal BA Server/BA Desktop error
    • CQ196289 [SP2] Color-Coded Map (Online) – Layer Attributes Are Missing ID and Name Fields Which Are Needed For Labeling
    • CQ196326 [Dev] On some XP machines getting items from Business Analyst.severstyle fails in GP Tools on Server
    • CQ197214 Upload Project: When uploading a project to BA Server, the progress bar disappears long before the credentials challenge window opens.
    • CQ197443 [SP2] Color-Coded Maps – Using Custom Field From Custom BDS Results in Error
    • CQ197444 [SP2] Smart Map – Using Custom BDS Layer Results in Error or Freezing
    • CQ197476 Trade Area – Equal Competition (Thiessen) Results Are Odd, Jagged, and Non-contiguous For Large Extents
    • CQ197534 Reports and Spatial Overlay return all zeroes for a custom BDS based on esri_bg.bds with base type = "NONE"
    • CQ197572 [SP2] Smart Map Search doesn't work with newly add layers
    • CQ197573 [SP2] Smart Map Search - Cannot add "Urban Areas" layer to the map after processing

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Arvest Bank, Edward Jones at ESRI UC This Weekend

The ESRI 2011 User Conference is nearly upon us, so get out those travelin' shoes.  Scott McClymonds of Arvest Bank will be receiving a Special Achievement in GIS Award, recognizing nearly two decades of GIS excellence at the Bank, on Wednesday.  Way to go, Scott!

The ESRI Business Summit will kick things off on Sunday morning July 10, where upwards of 200 business geography pros will gather to hear the latest and greatest from industry leaders - and each other.

Matt Mikula, IS Services at Edward Jones.
Added to the ESRI Business Summit speaker lineup is Matt Mikula, who is a key IS adminstrator for Edward Jones.  Matt is responsible for IS Financial Advisor and Branch Services, and supports many of the systems used by the firm's financial advisors and branch office administrators.  Edward Jones has been a pioneer shop for GIS, with a long track record dating back (like Arvest) to Atlas GIS, the pioneering business geography platform invented by our longtime friend and associate, Steve Poizner, which was purchased by ESRI in 1996.

Joining Matt will be a group of exceptional speakers from Cisco, Starbucks and others.  So, come on down, and hear about best practices, tips and tricks, new software features - and enjoy the usual raucous good time had by all.  Here's where to go for more information about the Summit, and about the User Conference.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Predicting Strategic Residential Mortgage Defaulters

Empty mailbox fronts foreclosed home, Reuters 6/2011
A new Experian study that showed up last week on the Reuters wire shows that Strategic Defaulters – those who voluntarily stop making their mortgage payments - are financially astute, and often already have their next home and loan before they walk.

“They are high income, they are high wealth, they own multiple homes, and they have higher (credit) scores," Tracy Bremmer, director of product marketing and management at Experian, told Reuters.   Experian is trying to identify Strategic Defaulters before the fact, so that banks can strategically head them off at the pass.   

"Lenders are still interested in educating people about whether they really understand the repercussions," added Andrew Jennings of FICO. Jennings explained that 40 states allow lenders to go after foreclosed borrowers for the extra money that was promised in the mortgage but not collected during the foreclosure sale.  FICO, for their part, recently launched a new scoring algorithm to point lenders to borrowers who are likely to strategically default before the fact.  An earlier study by FICO found that strategic defaulters had relatively strong median FICO scores of 663 and low credit card balances.  Here is some real fodder for your predictive models:
  • They may have applied for other credit recently,
  • They are upside-down on their mortgages, owing more than the home is worth, and, note this friends,
  • Are heavily concentrated in geographic areas where the pace of home values falling below mortgage balances is accelerating.
FICO also indicates that they have ongoing research that suggests that 18 months after foreclosure, the majority are having other financial problems.

The Experian study finds that 3 percent of strategic defaulters (who in turn make up about 17 percent of all defaults) went out and obtained new mortgages just before they stopped making payments. "That strategy is certainly in place," said an Experian representative. "Strategic defaulters carefully plan ahead of time before defaulting in order to purchase another home prior to leaving their current home."  At that point, their credit scores and earnings histories might easily qualify them for the new loans.  Once they settled on the new home and stopped making payments on their old home, they would not have to worry so much about the resulting credit score hit. 

What does this tell us?  A lot.  We can use this information in our GIS to both identify risks in our portfolios, and possible new opportunities in our communities (the last FICO finding notwithstanding).

Friday, June 17, 2011

If You Can't Beat 'Em, Buy 'Em

CapOne bought ING yesterday, for $9 billion in cash and stock.  This moves CapOne up to #5 in deposits in the U.S. from #8.  The ING brand will persist for a year or more.

The deal makes a lot of sense from many perspectives, especially if CapOne adds assets (like the HSBC card portfolio, which includes many affinity cards).  There is access to a broad base of low cost funds.  There is a big gain in online know-how.  Most of all, as system conversions go, this one looks relatively painless as the two share quite a bit of technology.

Just one problem.  The kind of customer that ING has is typically a value-hungry, simplicity-minded, big bank rejector.  And among the big banks that ING customers reject, CapOne is high on the list.  In fact, in many ways, CapOne is the anti-ING - perceived by many to be a high fee, hard to do business with, even deceptive traditional bank.  One look at the ING customer response to the news, as suggested by online comments in response to news announcements, suggests that the difficulty here in conversion will be cultural rather than systemic.

This is going to create huge opportunities FOR YOU, super-regional, regional, and community banks and credit unions.  The latter have already made a lot of hay in the wake of the "death of free checking". 

It's June 2011, do you know which of your customer households is doing business with ING, or fits the ING customer profile (online-savvy savers and fee-averse transactors)?  Yes indeed, another reason to lean heavily on a customer-relationship, lifestyle-oriented GIS system.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

April Revolving Debt Decline May Obscure Upbeat Long Term Trend

On Tuesday, the Fed released data for April showing that revolving credit (largely credit card debt) declined once again, after increasing slightly in March.

There has been a lot of media attention on this decline, and a lot of misinformation, with many reporting that "consumers are pulling back on credit card spending again."  This is because the fact remains, revolving debt dropped for 27 consecutive months from September 2008 to November 2010, and it seems that nobody can wipe that bad taste away. 


However, it is also evident that revolving credit expanded in November 2010 and in March 2011, and the April contraction was just -1.4% - not good, but well below the levels of contraction we have been seeing.  As illustrated in this chart, the present long term trend looks a whole lot better than anything we've seen since the Great Recession began.

We believe that as political and economic conditions stabilize, we will see consumer confidence and spending begin to rebound.  It is going to take time, though.  Consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of economic activity, rose a less-than-forecast 0.4 percent in April, according to Commerce Department statistics released May 27, as increases in fuel costs started to show up everywhere, especially in food prices as well as gas prices.

It is those fuel price increases -which affect everything that is transported - that remain a threat to stag-flate us.  But as we see gas prices relaxing now in June ahead of the peak summer travel months, and forecasts for planned consumer travel seem to have been little impacted based on TripAdvisor data (showing 61% of Americans say their travel plans will not be impacted at all by gas prices), we think people are going to travel and spend this summer - perhaps especially because times have been so tough and we all feel like we deserve a little vacation.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Merchants Rejoice as Senate Upholds New Debit Card Rules

Courtesy of National Public Radio, 2011
Banks will really need to find other ways of earning fee income now.  The Senate voted Wednesday to let the rule stand by which the Fed will slice away $12 billion in annual income represented by debit interchange, the fees that merchants pay banks each time a customer swipes a debit card.  Senators supporting the financial institutions' efforts to head off the Fed proposal fell six voters short of the 60 needed to prevail, 54-45.


Those charges now average 44 cents per transaction.  Let's get real.  That is well, well above the cost of a debit transaction carrying none of the risk of a credit based one.  BUT - the Fed ruling will hold those fees to a maximum of just 12 cents per swipe, and the law takes effect in about a month on July 21. While this might change, it probably won't now.

Smart banks will realize, and already have, that they need to enter retail financial businesses that earn fees. But most will simply look to place fees on what has been given away for years, and play right into the hands of online, non-traditional players, and non-banks.

What a good time to dig into your GIS, and determine which of your trade areas have the kind of customers and overall community composition that spells success for financial, college, tax and retirement planning.  

When one needs fee income, one emphasizes products and services for which consumers have always paid fees, and gladly.  And studies continue to show that consumers still trust their banker more than, say, their stockbroker.  Simply ratcheting up NSF and late and other fees and creating new triggers for them simply won't get 'er done.  Making new kinds of relationships and stepping up to compete in the new environment, will.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Banks, Google Have PayPal In Their Sites

Looks like the big three banks, where one-in-three Americans have their checking account, want in to PayPal's gold mine.  No kidding.

Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Chase announced clearXchange last Wednesday, their new joint venture to let customers move money around with just a mobile number or email address.

We won't see it until next year.  Too bad, because this will put fee pressure on PayPal - they'll probably be giving away clearXchange to obtain trial, then charge after it proves its value.  Like debit, consumer protections remain far better with a credit card.  Tests will be in Arizona, which has always been where they test electronic banking.

And last Thursday, Google announced their NFC play with partner CitiCorp that will let consumers "tap, pay and save".  NFC or Near Field Communications is the short-range wireless technology that lets you wave your NFC enabled phone near a payment terminal in a store or gas station and pay for something.  "Google Wallet" will also feature LBS a la Foursquare, so you'll get coupons from partner merchants pushed at you based on location.

BUT.  It will start out being available only on Nexus S 4G by Google, available on Sprint, and will work only with MasterCard PayPass terminals, a fraction of the NFCs deployed.  Google will begin initial testing of Google Wallet in New York and San Francisco.

AND,  PayPal sued Google on Friday, claiming two ex-employees brought trade secrets to Google.

All of this is a good thing.  It will reduce friction in payment systems by reducing costs and fees - especially for person to person payments, where the high cost of wire transfers today is what has made PayPal such a success.  And it is interesting that Citi seems more interested in owning traditional bank turf - merchant payment terminals - while the clearXchange banks stake their place in the new firmament, online and mobile payments.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Characteristics of Closed Branches - Trade Area Lifestyles

Last week, we began our analysis of closed bank branches, suggesting that the next steps are profiling the trade areas involved, in terms of demography and lifestyle, business mix, primary site characteristics and several other key metrics. 

Demography and lifestyle turns out to be quite telling.  Using ESRI Tapestry, we find that the top 5 of the 65 Tapestry segments account for over 42% of these trade areas. 

Laptops & Lattes are nearly 16 times as likely to be in one of these trade areas than in the U.S. as a whole; Metro Renters, nearly 12 times as likely.  Further, 4 of the 5 segments are in the Solo Acts lifemode or uber-category.  We also note that of 11 Urbanization areas, 45% are in just one, Principal Urban Centers I.

And, the plot thickens.

Average household size is quite small, at just 2.19 - reflecting all those Solo Acts.  And income is upscale, at a median AHI of nearly $60,000.  Though 58% of occupied units are renters, those who do own homes have home values well above the U.S. average.  The trade areas are also about 2/3 White.

Not exactly what one might have expected.  That is, until you consider that the people we are talking about - young upscale singles and couples and some very young families - don't rely on branches to do their banking.  So, while they are dynamite prospects for financial services - just the kind of people that American Express targets and courts early and often - branches may not necessarily be the way to make them customers.

That is, branches as we now know them.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Analyzing Characteristics of Closed Bank Branches

Along with the decision of when and where to open a new branch office, one of the key decisions made by banking administrators is when and where to *close* a branch office. We decided to take a look at recently closed branches in order to identify what common characteristics we might be able to identify.

BranchInfo by RPM Consulting

To conduct our analysis, we used the most current version of BranchInfo. RPM's BranchInfo competitive bank branch database  tracks not only branches that are currently open, but also branches that have been closed since the last data update. The current version of BranchInfo, released in February 2011, contains bank branch locations and ownership as of February 15, 2011, as well as branches which were closed between July 1, 2010 and February 15, 2011. Also, new to BranchInfo beginning with the last update, are a series  of key market potential and competitive metrics calculated for a one-mile radius surrounding each branch.  In order to better understand the  characteristics associated with branches that institutions have chosen to close and/or consolidated into other locations, we decided to conduct an analysis of the closed locations, comparing them to locations which have remained open. 

Methodology

To conduct our analysis, we began with the 422 branches reported as having been closed between July 1, 2010 and February 15, 2011. We then identified the complete branch networks for all institutions that had reported a closed branch during that time period so that we could compare closed branches to open branches for the same institutions that had closed one or more branches.  This approach allowed us to compare the 422 closed branches to 43,439 open branches for the same institutions.

Once our database was assembled, we compared the following characteristics for the open and closed branches:

  • Age of the branch
  • MarketBank deposit potential
  • MarketBank loan potential
  • MarketBank investment potential
  • Number of competing branches
  • Average MarketBank deposit potential per branch (within a one-mile radius)
  • Branch deposit market share
  • Size of branch in deposits dollars
  • Type of institution regulator
  • Branch office versus main office
  • Service type (full service brick & mortar, etc.)
  • Each branch's share of total bank deposits
  • Bank Asset Size

Each variable was tested for statistical significance using either chi square analysis or one-way analysis of variance, with .05 being set as the alpha value (for you quantitative types).

Findings

For our study, we broke down the variables we analyzed into several categories, focusing on the physical/administrative characteristics, competitive environment, and market potential.

Physical/Administrative

First looking at the physical and administrative characteristics of closed branches, we found that the age of a branch was a statistically significant when comparing open and closed branches.  Closed branches are, on average, much younger than branches that remain open.  While the average age (calculated using the "Date Established" field) of an open branch is about 36 years, the average of a closed branch is just 26 years.

Another significant difference concerns the service type of the facility.  Overall, we found that "Limited Service" facilities (such as drive-through branches, and seasonal/mobile offices) were much more likely to have been closed compared to full-service offices.

In terms of the type of institution most likely to close a branch, state savings assocations and state savings banks closed 7.9% and 5.2% of their branches, respectively, compared  to state and federal commercial banks, which closed less than 1% of their branches.

Closed branches also have a tendency to represent somewhat larger contributions to banks' overall deposit levels.  Our analysis found that although the average open branch represented approximately .5% of its institution's deposits, the average closed branch represented a considerably larger 3.2% of its institution's deposits (consistent with a smaller institution). In terms of deposits, closed branches were somewhat smaller than open branches, holding  an average of $34.6 million in deposits, compared to $60 million for open branches (excluding outliers).

Finally, the size of the institutions also seems to be significantly different when comparing open and closed branches.  Although the average institution held approximately $125 million in assets, those with closed branches were considerably smaller, holding an average of just under $40 million in assets.

Geographic Distribution

Based on the percentage of total branches closed during the second half of 2010, states with the highest percentage of closures (2% or more of the institutions' branches being closed) included Idaho, North Dakota, and Montana to the north, stretching south to Arkansas and Mississippi.


Competitive Environment

In our analysis, we studied the nature of each branch's competition by assessing the number and size (based on deposit balances) of competitor branches located within a one-mile radius.   Interestingly, the number of competitors does not prove to be significantly different between open and closed branches, however an analysis of market share does surface an interesting difference.  Although the average share of deposits for open branches was approximately 27.1%, the market share of closed branches was somewhat higher, at 30.7%, suggesting that a closed branch does not necessarily equate to an under-performing branch. 

Market Potential

One measure that we often use to determine whether an market is potentially over-banked, is the average estimated MarketBank potential deposit balances divided by the number of bank branches present.  In areas in which tend to be saturated with bank branches, we generally find that the average deposit potential per branch is typically lower than areas with unmet potential.  An assessment of the average deposit potential per branch found that closed branches tend to be in somewhat lower potential markets than open branches. The average potential per bank branch in open-branch market areas was about $18 million, which was higher than the $15 million for closed branch market areas.



We also used our MarketBank retail market potential database to quantify the consumer deposit, retail  loan, and retail investment potential indices for a one-mile radius surrounding each branch (an index value of 100 equates to the national average for balance potential per resident household).  Not surprisingly, retail deposit, loan and retail investment potential was substantially higher among still-open branches compared to closed branches.  Open branches had average deposit, loan and investment potential indices of 104.5, 101.1, and 105.9, respectively. All are significantly higher than  the deposit index of 100.5, loan index of 92.8, and investment index of 99.3 for closed branches.

Conclusions

 Based on these observations, we can conclude  that institutions that close branches tend to be somewhat smaller thrifts, rather than commercial banks, and the closed branches tend to be rather younger, and more likely limited service facilities, with almost half the deposits of branches that remain open.  The average market share of closed branches tends to be close to or above the average for other branches in their local markets, and the average deposit potential per competing branch tends to be somewhat below average, suggesting that the areas in which branches are closed tend to be rather smaller, as well as competitive and/or saturated markets.  Additionally, the closed-branch markets tend to be hold lower than average potential for lending and investment products, although relatively average potential for deposits.

Although closed branches tend to be smaller branches in lower potential markets, the decision to close a branch is not one that is made consistently from branch to branch or from institution to institution, suggesting that very often, the decision may not be based on market conditions as much as it may be based on logistical or contractual issues.  For example, given that limited service facilities are more often closed, it is possible that branches that have been opened as temporary facilities to serve a particular need are often closed when the need no longer exists and the branche's usefulness comes to an end.

Although this analysis gives us a start in understanding some of the underlying characteristics, a better understanding of the nature of closed bank branches should also include additional local market and locational information, such as daytime population, business mix, employment, and demographics of those residing within the markets.

Consumer Credit Expands, But Remains Near 2 Year Lows

The Fed reported on Friday that consumer credit increased at an annual rate of 3% for the first quarter of 2011.  However, December 2010 and March 2011 represent the only recent expansions, and the level of revolving credit outstandings remains around two year lows.

February numbers show the 4 year auto loan is averaging just under 5.9%, 2 year personal loans at 11%, and card rates around 13.5%.

With Moody's reporting on Monday that chargeoffs are low and headed lower, we expect to see some stepped-up credit card marketing beginning right around - now.  It's almost Memorial Day - do you know where your credit card market potential is?  The answers are in your customer database, in your GIS, in RPM's MarketBank.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ford Foundation Recognizes Self-Help, Financial Services Visionary

Nine million American households don't have a savings or a checking account.  Another 21 million rely on predatory lending, costly alternative financial service providers such as payday lenders or check-cashing outlets.





Martin Eakes did something about it, and today the Ford Foundation recognized him as a Social Visionary for his work at Self Help.



The Foundation notes that mainstream financial markets fail to meet the needs of poor and marginalized populations for three reasons.
  1. Financial products and services offered typically are inappropriate for low-income households.
  2. The infrastructure or delivery system is unresponsive to their needs.
  3. Policies and regulatory systems are poorly designed and implemented.
GIS systems should be playing a vital role here, particularly for mainstream institutions who simply need to understand their communities better, and understand how their delivery systems are working and not working to reach them.  There is huge potential to undercut the predatory lenders by using GIS to develop and deliver valuable products that save people money and are a good long term investment for the institution.

We salute Self Help, and it is a high priority at RPM to help institutions, communities and regulators and legislators to use GIS and data resources to develop innovative ways to far better serve unbanked and under-served individuals and families.

Friday, April 22, 2011

JD Power 2010 Customer Satisfaction Data Released

JD Power results were published yesterday, and it's no surprise to see a lot of heightened fee sensitivity among customers, and to see overall satisfaction nominally improve from historic lows.

It's important to note that fees don't necessarily create dissatisfaction.  Insensitive fee structuring, poor communication about fees, and not enough ways to avoid fees, do that.

Customers who pay fees and also express high levels of satisfaction are more likely to have had a consultative experience or needs assessment, and a discussion of fees, up front.  They also are more likely to have had good service on the phone and/or in branch, and have found it easier to resolve problems.  They are also more likely to find value in debit rewards, free online banking, and overdraft protection.

As always, we believe the research is most powerfully applied in a GIS, where the JD Power ratings are assigned to competitors in a trade area, and then branch performance and site/location attributes can be analyzed in the context of consumer ratings.  This is how we discover how site and location influence satisfaction.  It's also really helpful for branch micromarketing to know, for example, that you are the clear leader in reasonable fees among your immediate competitors, within and perhaps across branch areas.

Study results by region are as follows.  Congratulations are due once again to Frost Bank, with the strongest scores in the nation; and ARVEST, leading one region and among the leaders in the other.

California: Rabobank ranks highest in the region with a score of 796, and performs particularly well in the fees and account activities factors. Bank of the West (777) and Union Bank/Frontier Bank (766) follow in the regional rankings.
Florida: Regions Bank ranks highest in Florida with a score of 789 and performs well in the fees, account activities and account information factors. SunTrust Bank (788) and Wachovia Bank (786) follow in the rankings.
Mid-Atlantic Region: With a score of 804, Northwest Savings Bank ranks highest in the region and performs well in product offerings. Susquehanna Bank follows with a score of 792, and S&T Bank ranks third with 791.
Midwest Region: First Midwest Bank ranks highest with a score of 775, and performs particularly well in the product offerings and account information factors. Commerce Bank and UMB Bank tie to follow in the rankings with a score of 774.
New England Region: Eastern Bank ranks highest in the region with a score of 791 and performs well in the product offerings and account activities factors. Rockland Trust Co. follows with a score of 789, and TD Bank and Wachovia Bank tie to rank third with 760.
North Central Region: FirstMerit Bank and Flagstar Bank tie to rank highest in the region with a score of 802. FirstMerit Bank performs well in facility, product offerings and fees, while Flagstar Bank performs well in account activities. Huntington National Bank and Independent Bank follow in the rankings with 799, in a tie.
Northwest Region: With a score of 794, Umpqua Bank ranks highest in the region and performs well in facility and product offerings. West Coast Bank (792) and Sterling Savings Bank (789) follow in the rankings.
South Central Region: Hancock Bank ranks highest in the region with a score of 817 and performs particularly well in the product offerings and account information factors. Whitney National Bank (799) and Arvest Bank (798) follow in the rankings.
Southeast Region: First Federal ranks highest with a score of 818, performing particularly well in the facility and product offerings factors. United Community Bank follows in the rankings with 813, and First Citizens Bancorp ranks third with 809.
Southwest Region: Arvest Bank ranks highest in the region with 809 and performs particularly well in facility, product offerings and fees. Zions First National Bank (782) and Bank of Oklahoma (779) follow in the rankings.
Texas: With a score of 849, Frost National Bank ranks highest in the region and performs well across all six factors, particularly account activities and fees. First Financial Bank (805) and Woodforest National Bank (792) follow in the rankings.

The 2011 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study is based on responses from nearly 52,000 retail banking customers regarding their experiences with their banking provider. The study was fielded in January and February 2011. Large banks are defined as banks with more than 475 branches and $50 billion in deposits.

California



Customer Service Index Ranking

J.D. Power.com Power Circle Ratings

(Based on a 1,000-point scale)

For Consumers

Rabobank
796
5





Bank of the West
777
4

Union Bank/Frontier Bank
766
4

Wells Fargo
762
4

U.S. Bank
759
4





California Region Average
742
3

Citibank
728
3





Chase
726
2

Bank of America
719
2

Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are BBVA Compass (Compass Bank), California Bank & Trust, City National Bank (CA), Comerica Bank, East West Bank, First Bank (MO), Onewest Bank, Pacific Western Bank, Umpqua Bank, Wachovia Bank and West America Bank.





Florida



Customer Service Index Ranking

J.D. Power.com Power Circle Ratings

(Based on a 1,000-point scale)

For Consumers

Regions Bank
789
5

SunTrust Bank
788
5

Wachovia Bank
786
5





PNC Bank/National City
783
4

Fifth Third Bank
781
4

Branch Banking & Trust (BB&T)/Colonial Bank
775
4





Wells Fargo
769
3

Florida Region Average
767
3

Citibank
763
3

BankAtlantic
761
3





Bank of America
742
2

TD Bank
742
2

Chase
729
2

Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are BankUnited, Carolina First Bank, RBC Bank and Riverside National Bank of Florida.





Mid-Atlantic Region



Customer Service Index Ranking

J.D. Power.com Power Circle Ratings

(Based on a 1,000-point scale)

For Consumers

Northwest Savings Bank
804
5





Susquehanna Bank
792
4

S&T Bank
791
4

First National Bank of Pennsylvania
790
4

Fulton Bank
785
4

National Penn Bank
783
4

Huntington National Bank
780
4

Hudson City Savings Bank
775
4

PNC Bank/National City
775
4

Beneficial Mutual Savings Bank
773
4

First Commonwealth Bank
772
4

The Provident Bank
766
4

Branch Banking & Trust (BB&T)/Colonial Bank
765
4

Community Bank
763
4

Manufacturers & Traders Bank (M&T BANK)
763
4

SunTrust Bank
762
4

TD Bank
761
4

Valley National Bank
758
4

NBT Bank
753
4





Wachovia Bank
749
3

Citizens Bank
748
3

Wells Fargo
747
3

Mid-Atlantic Region Average
743
3

Chase
738
3

KeyBank
738
3

Astoria FS&LA
729
3

First Niagara Bank
725
3





New York Community Bank
722
2

HSBC
721
2

Sovereign Bank
720
2

Capital One/Chevy Chase Bank
719
2

Bank of America
716
2

Citibank
712
2

Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are: Apple Bank for Savings; Carter Bank & Trust; Investors Savings Bank; StellarOne Bank; Sun National Bank; Trustco Bank; Union First Market Bank; and United Bank (VA).



Included in the Mid-Atlantic region are: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C.





Midwest Region



Customer Service Index Ranking

J.D. Power.com Power Circle Ratings

(Based on a 1,000-point scale)

For Consumers

First Midwest Bank
775
5

Commerce Bank
774
5

UMB Bank
774
5





Marshall & Ilsley Bank (M&I Bank)
766
4

First Bank (MO)
764
4

Harris National
762
4

Regions Bank
762
4

AnchorBank
760
4





PNC Bank/National City
751
3

U.S. Bank
750
3

Bank of the West
746
3

Midwest Region Average
746
3

Chase
741
3

Fifth Third Bank
741
3

Charter One
734
3





Associated Bank
732
2

Bank of America
726
2

Wells Fargo
725
2

TCF National Bank
720
2

Citibank
711
2

Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are: Bank Midwest, Bank Mutual, Bremer Bank, First American Bank, FirstMerit Bank, Great Southern Bank, Johnson Bank and MB Financial Bank.



Included in the Midwest region are: Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota and Wisconsin.





New England Region



Customer Service Index Ranking

J.D. Power.com Power Circle Ratings

(Based on a 1,000-point scale)

For Consumers

Eastern Bank
791
5

Rockland Trust Co.
789
5





TD Bank
760
4

Wachovia Bank
760
4

Peoples United Bank
754
4

KeyBank
748
4





Citizens Bank
737
3

New England Region Average
733
3

Webster Bank
731
3

Citibank
729
3

Bank of America
717
3





Sovereign Bank
705
2

Chase
694
2

Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are NewAlliance Bank and Wells Fargo.



Included in the New England region are: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.





North Central Region



Customer Service Index Ranking

J.D. Power.com Power Circle Ratings

(Based on a 1,000-point scale)

For Consumers

FirstMerit Bank
802
5

Flagstar Bank
802
5

Huntington National Bank
799
5

Independent Bank
799
5





First Financial Bank
789
4

Citizens Bank (MI)
787
4

1st Source Bank
786
4





Branch Banking & Trust (BB&T)/Colonial Bank
771
3

Chemical Bank
771
3

U.S. Bank
769
3

KeyBank
767
3

North Central Region Average
765
3

WesBanco Bank
763
3

City National Bank (WV)
762
3

Chase
759
3

Regions Bank
759
3

Fifth Third Bank
756
3

Wells Fargo
756
3

Charter One
753
3

PNC Bank/National City
753
3

Comerica Bank
750
3





Bank of America
733
2

TCF National Bank
732
2

Old National Bank
722
2

Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are: Community Trust Bank, First Merchants Bank, MainSource Bank, Park National Bank and United Bank (WV).



Included in the North Central Region are: Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and West Virginia.





Northwest Region



Customer Service Index Ranking

J.D. Power.com Power Circle Ratings

(Based on a 1,000-point scale)

For Consumers

Umpqua Bank
794
5

West Coast Bank
792
5

Sterling Savings Bank
789
5





KeyBank
766
4

U.S. Bank
758
4





Northwest Region Average
741
3





Wells Fargo
721
2

Chase
705
2

Bank of America
703
2

Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are: Banner Bank, Columbia State Bank, Union Bank/Frontier Bank and Washington FS&LA.



Included in the Northwest region are Oregon and Washington.





South Central Region



Customer Service Index Ranking

J.D. Power.com Power Circle Ratings

(Based on a 1,000-point scale)

For Consumers

Hancock Bank
817
5





Whitney National Bank
799
4

Arvest Bank
798
4

First Tennessee Bank
797
4

BancorpSouth Bank
795
4

Trustmark National Bank
788
4





Capital One/Chevy Chase
777
3

Chase
776
3

SunTrust
774
3

South Central Region Average
771
3

Regions Bank
760
3

Wells Fargo
756
3





U.S. Bank
751
2

Wachovia Bank
746
2

Branch Banking & Trust (BB&T)/Colonial Bank
744
2

BBVA Compass (Compass Bank)
734
2

Bank of America
729
2

Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are: First Security Bank, Iberia Bank, RBC Bank, Renasant Bank and Simmons First Bank.



Included in the South Central region are: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.





Southeast Region



Customer Service Index Ranking

J.D. Power.com Power Circle Ratings

(Based on a 1,000-point scale)

For Consumers

First Federal (FS&LA of Charleston)
818
5

United Community Bank
813
5

First Citizens Bancorp
809
5





Regions Bank
795
4

RBC Bank
794
4

First Citizens Bancshare
792
4

SunTrust Bank
791
4

Wachovia Bank
785
4

Carolina First Bank
781
4

Branch Banking & Trust (BB&T)/Colonial Bank
777
4





Southeast Region Average
760
3





Fifth Third Bank
738
2

Bank of America
736
2

Wells Fargo
720
2

Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size is South Carolina Banking & Trust (SCBT).



Included in the Southeast region are: Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.





Southwest Region



Customer Service Index Ranking

J.D. Power.com Power Circle Ratings

(Based on a 1,000-point scale)

For Consumers

Arvest Bank
809
5





Zions First National Bank
782
4

Bank of Oklahoma
779
4

First Bank (CO)
778
4

Nevada State Bank
771
4





Bank of the West
759
3

Southwest Region Average
756
3

U.S. Bank
755
3

Wells Fargo
754
3

Chase
749
3

KeyBank
742
3

BBVA Compass (Compass Bank)
741
3





Bank of America
728
2

Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are: BancFirst, Marshall & Ilsley Bank (M&I Bank), MidFirst Bank, National Bank of Arizona and Wachovia Bank.



Included in the Southwest region are: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma and Utah.





Texas



Customer Service Index Ranking

J.D. Power.com Power Circle Ratings

(Based on a 1,000-point scale)

For Consumers

Frost National Bank
849
5





First Financial Bank (Texas)
805
4

Woodforest National Bank
792
4

Amegy Bank
791
4

Comerica Bank
791
4

Bank of Texas
789
4

Capital One/Chevy Chase
779
4





Wells Fargo
767
3

Texas Region Average
759
3

International Bank of Commerce
758
3

Wachovia Bank
758
3

Chase
757
3

Regions Bank
756
3

Prosperity Bank
749
3

Citibank
747
3

Bank of America
741
3





BBVA Compass (Compass Bank)
724
2

Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size is Sterling Bank.





Power Circle Ratings Legend:

5 – Among the best

4 – Better than most

3 – About average

2 – The rest