Wells Fargo has fallen back to the bottom of J.D. Power and Associates retail banking satisfaction index in the Southeast, the consumer organization reported Thursday. It's the latest sign of erosion in the bank's consumer ratings that have dogged Wells since taking over Charlotte-based Wachovia.
The bank took over the cellar spot from Bank of America in the 2013 survey. Still, both banks improved their raw scores in a year in which big banks made up a lot of ground on their smaller brethren.
“Many of the big banks have made great strides in listening to what their customers are asking for: reducing the number of problems customers encounter and, more importantly, improving satisfaction with fees," J.D. Power's senior banking director Jim Miller said in a statement.
Bank of America and Wells Fargo have now traded the bottom two spots in the Southeast for the past three years, since Wells bought Charlotte-based Wachovia -- which had a better reputation for customer service.
That bank's former customers now with Wells have complained that the San Francisco bank has focused on pushing more and more products over personal service.
Wells was at the bottom of the J.D. Power and Associates rankings in 2011, the year the bank ditched the Wachovia name in most of its Eastern markets. Bank of America claimed the last-place ranking in 2010, a year when Wachovia ranked several spots higher.
Late last year, Wells Fargo fell from the top spot in the American Consumer Satisfaction Index rankings. At the time, bank spokesman Josh Dunn said the bank's internal surveys indicated customer satisfaction was still at record highs.
“We are committed to continually improving our customers’ experience with us, and we’re always looking for ways to apply their input and further strengthen our customer service,” he said.
Wells Fargo has higher J.D. Power rankings this year in other regions of the country, like the Northeast and California.