New Survey Highlights How Banking Customers Perceive Common Fees

A new study of U.S. banking customers sheds light on customers’ perceptions and attitudes toward common banking fees. The study, commissioned by McGuffin Creative Group and conducted by YouGov, reveals that customers largely do not see banking as a “service.” In fact, 77% of respondents view cable or internet packages as a service compared to just 54% who consider a bank account to be a service.

Further, the survey highlights that while customers generally have negative attitudes toward fees, they perceive some fees as more fair than others. Surprisingly, “late payment fees” are seen as the fairest of the common bank fees listed (ranked 4.5 on average of the 11 fees tested) compared to “teller service fees,” which are seen as the least fair (ranked 7.4 on average of the 11 fees tested). 

Betsy Fiden, partner and head of marketing and strategy at McGuffin Creative Group, says that as a consultant to financial marketers at large banks over the last two decades, her agency has seen the ways fees have posed a roadblock to effective customer communication and brand trust. 

“Fees have always been the elephant in the room between banks and customers,” Fiden says. “Banks have traditionally communicated fee information poorly or opaquely and that lack of transparency has led customers to view fees with suspicion or resentment — even toward fees customers might see as justified if they were better informed.”

For access to the free survey report “Banks, Customers and Fees: An In-Depth Look for Bank Marketers,” visit: