Comptroller Tells Banks to Shape Up on Service

American Banker, November 19, 1998 | Go to article overview

Comptroller Tells Banks to Shape Up on Service


By HARRISON, BARBARA A. REHM^DAVID

Staking out a new regulatory domain, acting Comptroller of the Currency Julie L. Williams urged banks Wednesday to upgrade customer service.

Ms. Williams said if it does not improve, the banking industry is in danger of losing market share to rivals-a warning recently sounded by Citigroup Inc. co-chairman John S. Reed.

"Customer service is a key competitive intangible-a factor that will profoundly affect the future of competition in financial services," Ms. Williams said in a speech to the Exchequer Club.

This was the first time that the Comptroller's Office has singled out lackluster service as a regulatory problem.

It can become a regulatory concern by way of reputation risk, which since 1995 has been one of the nine factors that national bank examiners consider in gauging an institution's safety and soundness.

Ms. Williams said customer service "means the difference, long-term, between a business that is robust and one that withers. And that is why, as a supervisory matter, the OCC cares about how well banks are responding to this challenge."

Part of the problem, Ms. Williams said, is that banks have raised service fees "without adequate explanation, without gauging their effect on public opinion, and without calculating the trade-off between short-term income and long-term reputation risk."

Without detailing what actions her agency might take, Ms. Williams made it clear that a bank's track record with customers is part of the agency's jurisdiction. "Modern supervision is not simply a matter of applying sets of laws, rules, and regulations," she said.

Industry analyst James J. McDermott said regulators are right to be concerned. "In a highly competitive, homogeneous product environment, the quality of service can and will be a distinguishing characteristic of successful companies," he said.

Mr. McDermott, president of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. in New York, said Mr. Reed's Oct. 26 speech was "a clarion call to the industry in terms of marketing, in terms of execution, in terms of follow through, and in terms of cross selling."

Speaking to a Consumer Bankers Association conference, Mr. Reed knocked the industry's "atrocious" attrition rates and "lousy" customer satisfaction. He labeled the surge in automated teller machine fees "harassment pricing."

Like Mr. Reed, Ms. Williams said that if the banking industry continues to neglect quality and customer satisfaction it may suffer the same fate as the U. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Comptroller Tells Banks to Shape Up on Service
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.