These are extracts of the EPSI Baltic Customer Satisfaction Study conducted in 2012 among the banks’ private and corporate consumers in three Baltic countries. Industry averages are calculated based on results for individual banks and their respective market shares. The results for banks having high market share (usually more than 8%) are presented separately, while results for smaller banks are given together under “other” banks group. The separate results for smaller companies can be added to our annual studies on request. Please contact EPSI Baltic representatives: firstname.lastname@example.org
The study has been done as an integral part of the Extended Performance Satisfaction Initiative (EPSI Rating). Thus, the results can be compared with those available on an annual basis from many other countries (some benchmark can be found in the end of this press release). The study is done in order to support the development of customer oriented and driven services throughout Europe.
The study is based on interviews with around 5 000 individual and corporate customers representing all three Baltic States. The data collection company Norstat conducted it over the telephone. Each person or company representative was interviewed about one specific bank which she/he uses most often.
Private consumers (B2C)
Despite the bankruptcy of two banks, Snoras in Lithuania and Krajbanka in Latvia, satisfaction of Baltic banking clients did not change dramatically on average in 2012. Moreover, in Estonia where the banking sector did not experience such turmoil, the share of less satisfied clients is larger, than in Latvia or Lithuania. Satisfaction of Lithuanian customers is highest as it was also during the previous years (78.4 points out of 100), followed by Latvian (76.7) and Estonian (72.3) customers evaluations. Considering the satisfaction of all respondents, we may see only slight changes in evaluations in comparison to previous year: less than 1 point difference on the 100 point scale. However, the evaluations for different banks separately are not so homogenous.
In Estonia the evaluations of satisfaction with individual banks varies between 67 points put of possible 100 for Sampo and 74.2 points for Swedbank. In comparison to the results of 2011, evaluations for Sampo (-6.3) and SEB (-2.5) decreased substantially, while other banks experienced only slight changes. Moreover, evaluations of Nordea and Swedbank have some positive drift. The most satisfied are customers of Swedbank, followed by customers of smaller and niche banks. The evaluations of Nordea customers are rather steady, but small positive change together with drop in evaluations of SEB and Sampo, moved Nordea in customer satisfaction ranks from last to third place this year. Same time, last year top performers SEB and Sampo got the lowest evaluations this year.
In Latvia the satisfaction scores this year are between 71.5 (Citadele) and 79.4 (DNB). Evaluations for all the banks measured individually increased to some extent. The highest increase is for Swedbank (+3.7 points), which could be to some extent an affect of “Brainstorm” concert organised by the bank for its clients in August, when the interviewing of respondents also took place. The second highest increase is for DNB (+3). The results for Citadele, which administrated the payback of deposits of failed Krajbanka, also increased (+2). Overall, DNB took a confident first position, while Swedbank and SEB share the second place in customer satisfaction.
Satisfaction of banking customers in Lithuania varies between 77.4 (other) and 80.1 (Swedbank) this year, becoming even closer to each other leading to tighter competitions between banks. SEB and Swedbank experienced the growth in their evaluations which could be related to the fact that these banks, especially SEB, overtook the major share of clients of failed Snoras bank. The evaluations of DNB clients stayed on same level as last year, while the results for group of other banks slightly decreased. The decline appeared because results for Nordea bank were included this year under the group “other”, not presented separately as it has been before.
Another important issue to look at is the loyalty of the customers. According to the EPSI Baltic study 2012, slight positive changes took place in Latvia and Lithuania (+1.6 point each), while evaluations for Estonia continue to follow the negative trend.
In Estonia, customers are most loyal to the group of “other” banks, as also last year, probably because this group consist of various smaller banks operating in their niche and customers choose these banks because of some specific reason. The willingness to stay with the bank or to recommend it to others was evaluated close by the customers of Swedbank (76.7) and SEB (75.5), while the results for Sampo (65.9) decreased dramatically. The only bank whose customers loyalty increased this year is Nordea (78.1).
In Latvia, clients of DNB (82.6) and Swedbank (81.5) are the ones willing to stay with their banks. Evaluations for Nordea (79.2) increased, catching up with the high level of SEB (79.4 points), while clients of Citadele (69.3) still hesitate. Their evaluations increased significantly, but the level of evaluation in comparison to other banks is still relatively low.
The situation in Lithuania is similar to Latvia: loyalty scores are also highest for Swedbank (82.6) and DNB (80.7), followed by SEB (79.3) and other (78.6). Overall, loyalty of all Lithuanian customers to their banks is on the same high level with only 4 points range.
What influences customers’ satisfaction and loyalty?
These are various aspects, presented in EPSI questionnaire in about 40 different questions. The evaluations of these questions are grouped under 5 topics or indices: Image (how, according to the respondent, society overall would rate some aspect of their bank), Expectations (what customers expected to get from the bank based on their experience), Product and Service quality (what respondents actually get in terms of banking products and services), Value-for-money (if, according to respondents, the charges are reasonable for the quality of products and services they get). The results for three out of five mentioned indices are presented in the next section.
Change in evaluations, B2C Estonia, 2012-2011
- The greatest negative drop appeared in evaluations of Sampo bank, especially value-for-money aspect. The customers of Sampo bank consider that they pay too much for the kind of products and services they get.
- Unfortunately, also SEB was evaluated worse than in 2011 in majority of aspects with the exception of Service quality. On the example of this bank it is obvious, that service quality is not always the main thing for clients’ satisfaction.
- Biggest positive changes are for Nordea, which service and product quality is evaluated higher than in 2011.
- Also evaluations of services of the group of smaller banks increased.
Change in evaluations, B2C Latvia, 2012-2011
- Changes in evaluations in Latvia are much smaller than in Estonia for majority of the banks.
- The highest positive changes could be seen in evaluations of SEB in all three aspects presented here: service and product quality and value-for-money.
- Swedbank clients also evaluated service quality and value-for-money higher than a year ago.
- The change in evaluations for DNB are rather small in comparison with 2011, but this bank received highest evaluations from its customers in 2012 in all aspects in comparison to other banks in Latvia.
Change in evaluations, B2C Lithuania, 2012-2011
- Positive changes may be seen for product quality of Swedbank, as also value-for-money evaluations
- Product quality evaluations increased substantially also for SEB
- Evaluations of all aspect decreased for smaller banks. As also mentioned before, the main reason for that is since evaluations for Nordea bank are included under this category this year and not presented separately.
- Overall, evaluations of all aspects for all banks are very close this year with no distinctive leader, especially in product quality. DNB is leading in service quality, while Swedbank value-for-money results are the highest.
Corporate Banking (B2B)
Evaluations of business banking clients substantially differ from the private customers’ opinions. Satisfaction of clients increased for majority of the banks in Estonia and Latvia, while in Lithuania the average level of satisfaction decreased.
The results for individual banks increased rather significantly in Estonia. The greatest increase in comparison to previous year is recognised for DNB (+5.5 points), who is confidently moving into the market and gained 70 point in evaluation among its customers. Only SEB customers are slightly less satisfied than a year before. However, all in all, customers are almost equally satisfied with Swedbank, Sampo, SEB and Nordea banks in 2012: their evaluations are around 66 points out of 100.
The growth in evaluations of banks in Latvia is smaller than in Estonia. Yet, it should be noted that none of the banks received lower marks than in 2011. The only major increase is for Swedbank (+3.4). However, DNB kept its leading position with 75.8 points out of 100. Swedbank is on the second place with 74 points, followed by the SEB with 73.7 points.
As it was mentioned, many clients are less satisfied with their banking in 2012. The major decline appeared for the group of smaller banks (-6 points), but also some individual banks got lower results: SEB (-2.9 points), DNB (-3.3 points). Same time, evaluations for Swedbank and Nordea increased, by more than 2 points each. Thus, Swedbank is leading this year with 73.8 points.