BANGOR, Maine — Bangor Savings Bank was named the top-performing bank for customer satisfaction in New England and one of the top banks in the country, according to a national survey of retail banking customers.
The bank, the largest Maine-based bank in the state, announced the recognition at a Wednesday morning event in Portland.
The survey, conducted by J.D. Power and Associates, a national market research company, asked nearly 52,000 banking customers around the country for feedback on various aspects of their banking experience, from product offerings to fees. The survey is considered the most in-depth assessment of the retail banking industry, according to the bank’s announcement.
“I will tell you, in all honesty, we were as surprised as anyone else,” Jim Conlon, Bangor Savings Bank’s president and CEO, said Wednesday morning at the event. “By national standards we’re not a large bank. So to have that kind of feedback from J.D. Powers that says here’s what your customers have to say — and this is all about customer service on the consumer side — that’s terrific.”
The bank received a satisfaction score of 831 out of a possible 1,000 points, ranking it the highest in New England and sixth highest in the country, according to J.D. Power’s annual retail banking survey.
Within New England, the runners up were both Massachusetts banks: Eastern Bank (818 points), which is based in Boston and has earned the highest customer satisfaction scores from J.D. Power for the past two years, and Rockland Trust Co. in Rockland, Mass. (814 points). KeyBank and TD Bank placed fourth and fifth, respectively, in the region.
Frost National Bank, based in San Antonio, Texas, with $23.1 billion in assets, scored the highest in the country with 855 points.
While the rankings include national chains with a strong presence in Maine, such as KeyBank, TD Bank, People’s United Bank and Bank of America, the stringent criteria disqualify other Maine-based banks. Banks must have at least 50 branches and at least $2 billion in deposits annually to be eligible for the survey, according to John Tews, a J.D. Power spokesman. Bangor Savings Bank is the only Maine-based bank that meets the criteria.
Bangor Savings Bank has 56 branches in the state and $2.1 billion in deposits as of Dec. 31, 2012, the latter figure provided by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The next largest Maine-based bank is Camden National Bank with $1.9 billion in deposits and is, therefore, not eligible for the survey.
In addition to number of branches and deposits, banks must receive at least 100 survey respondents to be eligible for the survey, Tews said. Bangor Savings Bank received 112 usable surveys, he said.
“I’m not the analyst, just a PR guy, but when comparing them across the country they’re doing very well,” Tews said of Bangor Savings Bank.
This is the first year Bangor Savings Bank has met the criteria to be included in the study, according to Conlon. The bank’s deposits were $1.9 billion as of Dec. 31, 2011, according to the FDIC.
Asked whether bank’s favorable survey results compared to the larger, national banks would encourage Bangor Savings Bank to consider expanding outside Maine, Conlon quickly said no.
“When you think about what we have to do right now in Maine…” Conlon began, before switching track. “I’ll never say never, and there’s only an artificial waterway between here and New Hampshire, but our market share is low enough we have all we can do right here in Maine, which is why what’s going on in Maine’s economy is so darn important to us.”