In all the financial news released this week, these surveys have been mostly overlooked, so we rounded them up for the Debt Report…
While it may surprise some folks that banks registered higher customer service rankings over the past year, the real shocker is that big banks improved more than mid-sized ones.
“Despite ongoing public scrutiny, customer satisfaction with banks is at a record high as banks improve experiences for their customers, reduce problems, and create a better understanding of fees,” says J.D. Power’s 2014 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study. “Overall satisfaction among big banks improves 23 points to 782, while midsize banks improve only 11 points to 796.”
It’s worth noting that big banks still rank lower than mid-sized banks, but the gap is quickly narrowing.
Good news both for homeowners and business owners….
- Residential: “Only one in 10 American borrowers underwater,” says Black Knight’s monthly Mortgage Monitor Report, which also reports a 7.57-percent month-over-month drop in delinquency rate. “Two years of relatively consecutive home price increases and a general decline in the number of distressed loans have contributed to a decreasing number of underwater borrowers,” says Kostya Gradushy, Black Knight’s manager of loan data and customer analytics.
- Commercial: For the latter, this week’s United Realty/Zogby Real Estate Confidence Index “indicates a strong view of the U.S. commercial real estate market despite expectations for rising rates.” The most stunning stat: “96 percent of respondents view the current market as somewhat or very attractive.”
Two professions going in opposite directions…
- Nurses: This is National Nurses Week, but the prognosis isn’t good: “The financial health of nurses’ retirement savings is in need of urgent care,” says a new survey from Fidelity. “Two in three nurses are concerned they will never be able to retire.” It’s worse for nurses ages 20-29. They have a savings rate at 9.6 percent — under the 10-15 percent Fidelity recommends.
- CFOs: While some professionals can’t afford to retire, many chief financial officers don’t want to. A survey of 2,100 CFOs by HR firm Robert Half shows most want to become consultants: “Three in four (75 percent) said they find the prospect of consulting somewhat or very attractive.” No word on a follow-up study that measures if that many consultants are actually needed in this country.
Jobs for college grads
This month, the workforce is flooded with new college graduates. How will they fare? “The class of 2014 is greeted by more job opportunities than last year’s graduates,” says a survey by jobs search engine Simply Hired. “Approximately 6 percent of job openings are targeted to new grads in 2014 (up from 5.4 percent in January 2013).”
Conversely, “Companies risk losing top new talent as 52 percent of recent grads [are] not receiving training from employers,” says a survey from consulting firm Accenture.
“The vast majority of students about to graduate from college this year (80 percent) expect their first employers to provide them with a formal training program,” Accenture says. “But 52 percent of those who graduated from college within the past two years say they did not receive training in their first job.”