Which bank offers the best banking services

Big test: this is the best bank in 2020

Many customers are dissatisfied with their bank, but very few actually want to switch. That can be a mistake. From Markus Hinterberger

More than one in four Germans is convinced that they will have to pay more for their account in the future. Every sixth person expects negative interest rates. This is the result of the nationwide largest survey of bank customers, in which € uro surveys a good 120,000 people every year. Despite this palpable dissatisfaction, just one in 20 customers of a national bank thinks about handling their financial transactions with another bank. Many simply do not believe that it is worth switching and prefer to stay with their bank. A change is anything but difficult, because banks have been obliged to pass on data, for example on standing orders, to the new bank for a number of years.

Good reasons for € uro to commission Germany's largest bank test for the 17th time in a row. From January to the beginning of March, the Hamburg analysis company S.W.I. Finance offers the product, advice and service quality of 33 financial institutions operating nationwide. You can find the overall result from page 96 onwards. "As in the previous year, we examined the leading providers of all important banking products," explains Marcus Schad, Managing Director of S.W.I. Finance. In order to ensure the comparability of the institutes, pure brokers of financial products were again left out of the banking test.

The test is divided into three phases: In a first step, the products that are most in demand with customers - current accounts, interest deposits, brokerage, installment loans and mortgage lending - as well as other banking services, the website and online security were examined. In the second part of the test, the bank auditors contacted the financial institutions anonymously. With 14 phone calls and e-mails each, they asked typical but also unusual customer questions about the conditions and functionality of banking products. In addition, three letters of complaint each analyzed how the institutes deal with criticism of their products and services. A practical check then followed in the third test phase. Anonymous testers with a wide variety of legends fanned out into bank branches nationwide. There they obtained five advice from each institute, for example on the subjects of financial investments, building finance and consumer credit.

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On average, during the test period (late January to early March) the results for inquiries by telephone and email were significantly worse than in the previous year. It was different with the on-site consultations, where the values ​​improved, although there were dropouts here too: "When I asked about the difference between ETF savings plans and normal equity funds, the employee did not answer my question, but instead presented me with the fund savings plans. which the bank offers ", one of the testers described his conversation with an employee of the Santander Bank. When it came to advice over the phone, it became clear that many banks could no longer afford the "luxury" of having well-trained colleagues in the switchboards. "The employee seemed to be trying to get me off the phone line as quickly as possible," reported a test caller about the Degiro broker.

Mother and daughter in first place. Overall, it turns out that some banks understand how important it is to retain their customers. The two often scolded big banks Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank were consistently rated as good in the discussions on site. Combined with a cheap current account, this was enough for Commerzbank to defend its top position from last year among the branch banks. In the overall ranking, in which branch and online banks were considered together, the Comdirect was able to prevail. This is the third win in a row for the Commerzbank subsidiary. 1822direkt, the Internet subsidiary of Frankfurter Sparkasse in 1822, was also strong and only just behind Comdirect.

When it comes to switching, the customers of regional banks are a lot more agile. According to our survey, almost one in five of this customer group can imagine turning their back on their bank. For test manager Johannes Higle, this is a sign that savings banks in particular have exaggerated with their branch closings and their high fees.


COMDIRECT BANK- Overall winner and best direct bank

Hat trick: Comdirect is the third time winner of Germany's most comprehensive banking test and also defends its title as the best direct bank. The reward for a successful product and service offensive with which the bank wants to concentrate fully on private customers

The good news does not seem to end in Quickborn: The managed customer assets in the custody accounts grew by 40 percent to over 51 billion euros in the past year, not least because in times of low interest rates, more and more people are looking for funds and shares instead of overnight and fixed-term deposits decide. The number of checking accounts has risen to 1.7 million and, and, and. The message that Comdirect has not only become Best Direct Bank but also Best Bank for the third time in a row fits into the picture. For Frauke Hegemann, who has been in charge of the bank since January 2020, this is great praise, because the Comdirect does not only apply to the testers of the S.W.I. as an "innovation machine" in the Commerzbank Group: This is where the free current account was born, and where the online brokerage was set up and expanded. Cominvest, Comdirect's digital asset management company launched in 2017, is also developing well. At the beginning of the year, a good 580 million euros were managed fully automatically, mostly with the help of inexpensive index funds.

The app is to be expanded further in the current year: "A transfer calendar is completely new. Customers always have an overview of when which regular payments are due. This can also be used to set and process direct transfers in the app, standing orders and real-time transfers will follow "explains Hegemann. A great deal should also be done with the trading functions. The order book will be expanded, charts and news on the individual securities will be added, and further detailed information from Cominvest digital asset management will soon also be part of the app. "All of this shows that we as the 'bank in the cell phone' are doing everything we can to ensure that the bank with almost all functions can always be with us in our trouser pockets," says Hegemann.

Help in a crisis. Since the fear of the coronavirus has put the financial markets in turmoil, Comdirect customers can send market experts to the bank their most pressing questions. "There is a special Corona-Hub‘ on our website where you can find FAQs, assessments, the latest stock market news and our com.on podcast, "said the bank manager. This is also noticeable in the increasing number of customers. "The number of new customers rose very significantly in March. This applies to the opening of current accounts, but also especially to securities accounts," explains Hegemann. Against the background of the volatile stock exchanges, the Comdirect customers have become much more active in securities trading.


COMMERZBANK- best branch bank

Good service and top advice in the branches as well as an online presence that really helps customers. This combination brought Commerzbank victory again

Save and still perform well. At least in business with private customers, that doesn't seem to be a problem for Commerzbank. According to bank boss Martin Zielke, 200 of the 1000 branches are to be eliminated in the coming years, the remaining branches are to be more modern and the bank wants to offer its customers more online. Zielke has Michael Mandel on the board for this task. The former head of the Commerzbank subsidiary Comdirect knows how to set up a bank cheaply and well. The testers of the S.W.I. So: "As in the previous year, Commerzbank scored points with good on-site advice and good online service," says head tester Johannes Higle. He also praises the clearly delineated products. For example, there are three offers for the current account, from the free current account, which is managed online, to the classic account for 4.90 euros per month, to the premium account, which offers additional credit cards and insurance for a monthly fee of 12.90 euros.

Commerzbank is number 2 in the market and looks after around 14 million customers nationwide, only Deutsche Bank is currently larger. CEO Zielke wants to increase the number to 15 million in the course of the year. Among other things, with a new customer bonus of 50 euros. This is paid out if customers actively use their account for three months after opening an account, i.e. have their salary transferred or make transfers. On top of that, there is a bonus of 100 euros when customers recruit new customers.


ING- most popular bank in Germany

Hamsters, for example from staple foods or certain hygiene items, have been very popular in the past few weeks. What the ING does in the "Most Popular Bank" competition almost borders on title hoarding. Germany's largest direct bank has won the title for the 14th time in a row. And this in an environment in which banks have anything but easy to make themselves popular.

But even interest rate cuts will not damage ING's positive image. The bank continues to focus on its core business areas, current accounts, savings - the area of ​​ETF savings plans in particular is being expanded here - and loans. That attracts new customers. Nine million people in this country now have an account with ING. Only Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank have more customers. While other banks are investing a lot of money and time to create a digital asset manager, ING has teamed up with industry leader Scalable Capital. ING customers have now invested a good billion euros in the Munich-based fintech.


PSD BANK - MUNICH- customers' regional favorite

While it was "only" enough for bronze last year, PSD Bank Munich achieved gold this year. The bank, whose headquarters are - not as the name suggests - in Augsburg, is the tip of a phalanx of PSD banks, which this year took the first seven places in the regional ranking in the "Most Popular Bank" competition. The roots of the postal, savings and loan associations go back to the 70s of the 19th century. Today the cooperative association of PSD banks has 14 independent credit institutions. Like the other PSD banks, PSD Bank Munich relies on a few branches, one in Augsburg and one in Munich, and many digital offers. "As a regional direct bank, we focus on maximum customer focus, lean structures and digital contact and sales channels. This enables us to offer excellent service to around 80,000 customers in our business area," says CEO Thomas Hausfeld.


€ uro bank test 2020: This is how it was rated

On behalf of € uro, the Hamburg analysis house S.W.I. Finance from January to March 2020 a total of 33 nationwide financial institutions. For the study, branch and direct banks as well as special providers with mostly one product, such as savings investments or loan financing, were analyzed. Only institutes that are relevant to the market in the respective areas were selected. The testers examined their offers and services. In addition, they analyzed with 14 phone calls and e-mail inquiries per institute how good service and advice are. At the branch banks, five personal interviews were also included in the assessment. In addition, three complaints were sent to each of the branch and direct banks active throughout Germany and the reactions to them were analyzed.

The overall result was calculated using the mean values ​​of the points in the three main categories. Products and service were each weighted 40 percent. The € uro bank customer survey with 120,139 participants was included in the overall rating of "Best Bank" 2020 with 20 percent.

Individual evaluation of banking products

For the € uro banking test, the product areas of payment transactions (classic and online checking accounts), overnight money, fixed-interest investments, brokerage, construction financing, installment loans and other banking services (complaint management, advice and service) were examined. Below you will find overviews of the best providers in each category.










Contest

€ uro raffled a Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 among all participants in the customer survey. The winner: Jens Drochhner from Uetersen. A Bosch coffee machine won: Sonja Jakob, Hamburg; Torsten Goebel, Fürth; Klaus Schneider, Berga. Congratulations to all winners!


Image: Marcel Lorenz / imago images, Hendrik Lüders / Comdirect, Alexandra Lechner / Commerzbank AG, Jasper Lensselink / ING, PSD Bank Munich


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