While 2011 was in many ways the year of the credit union, consumers in the Northeast appear particularly active in transitioning to local financial institutions. A report released this week by Prime Performance, shows credit unions lead other institutions for customer experience with a Prime Experience Index of 79 percent. Banks, on the other hand, received an average PXI of 59 percent, while small banks received a score of 75 percent. "When it comes to the emotional aspects of the customer/bank relationship, as well as how customers feel about rates and fees, banks come up short compared to credit unions," said Jim Miller, president of Prime Performance. "Two large banks stand out among their peers, PNC and M&T." These customers reported the fewest problems or complaints and rated the institutions in the top three in satisfaction regarding banking services. Seventy-four percent of respondents agreed that their credit union is looking out for the their best interest, while only 2 percent believe they are not. The survey results highlight the nature of consumer trust in the post-recession economy. With banks tightening their credit decisions
and imposing new fees, many have lost the good graces of their customers.