A recent report by the survey software provider SurveyMonkey indicated that mobile downloads for the bank had dropped 7.7% since the cross-selling scandal broke, while the other megabanks saw increases.
So, while Chase, BoA, and Citi saw growth within the expected range for their app downloads after the scandal, only Wells showed a significant–and negative–departure from its previous growth rate.
A quick look at App Annie yesterday did not show significant deviation for Wells Fargo. The bank was up near the top of the download rankings for finance apps just as it always is. But with the volumes the banks deal with, perhaps this is not so surprising.
Bank Innovation reached out to Wells Fargo for the bank’s take on the SurveyMonkey report, which has received a lot of attention in fintech circles. A bank spokeswoman wrote:
While we can’t speak to the survey specifically, we are seeing no indication of such a trend in our data. As announced in our recent third quarter earnings, our mobile banking adoption was up through the end of August with 18.8 million active customers, and we have not seen any decline in these numbers through the end of September. We’re committed to being transparent regarding business trends and we plan to provide updates on business metrics during the quarter.
October numbers, not yet in, could be more telling, but it is hard to see why the scandal, as much attention as it got, would cause customers to stop using the mobile app, or switch banks entirely, or choose another bank. Despite what the CFPB said, the situation may not be much different at other large banks.
But Wells’ reputation is definitely hurting, and customers, already sour on banks, may be in a mood to make them pay. A study by the consulting firm cg42 noted the scandal could wind up costing the bank $99 billion in deposits and $4 billion to $8 billion in revenue — not peanuts, even for Wells Fargo.
But the financial crisis showed customers are slow to switch, and if all banks are the same, as the argument goes, what difference would switching make?
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