Magazine article American Banker

Citi a Hit, JPM-Chase a Dud in Mag's Site Reviews

Magazine article American Banker

Citi a Hit, JPM-Chase a Dud in Mag's Site Reviews

Article excerpt

Big is not necessarily best, judging from one consumer magazine's latest ranking of financial services Web sites.

Citibank, the nation's largest bank, was No. 1 in the survey, by Forbes, but J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., the second-largest, ranked 11th among 50 sites graded on content, design, ease of navigation, speed, and customization. American Express placed second, Bank of Hawaii third.

Citibank has been "a consistent favorite" since Forbes began its Best of the Web surveys in 1999, said Nikhil Hutheesing, the survey's senior editor. "It's a well-designed site, it's easy to navigate, and it's full of good features."

The results, published in the magazine's Feb. 26 issue, were less kind to J.P. Morgan Chase. The review said the company does a "lousy job" of explaining offerings, though it called the site "effectively designed."

"Every time we've gone there, our reviewers have come back and said they ended up going to dead links," Mr. Hutheesing said. "They find it hard to get around. But Chase is a great company. I think it would just take a little to bring their online banking site up to par."

Citi features that impressed the judges included access to financial news and research, the ability to set up recurring payments, and a device showing how much of a customer's salary goes toward expenses such as cell phone use. A "thorough" service window contains an inbox for e-mail messages from the bank, and a new feature lets customers e-mail money.

The Citi site's strengths overall compensate for the relatively long time it takes for its users to check account balances, Mr. …

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