Banks are serious institutions. Are consumers views of them swayed by a Twitter review?
January 16th, 2023, Kineree Shah

Banks are serious institutions. Are consumers views of them swayed by a Twitter review?

Nearly a fifth of global consumers (18%) read online reviews of financial and investment products before making a purchasing decision, according to a YouGov poll conducted in 17 international markets. However, this is significantly lower compared to other products and services - consumer electronics (43%), hotels (42%), restaurants and bars (42%), household products (37%), clothes (33%), cinema / TV shows (26%) and healthcare services (20%).

Online ratings and reviews are voluntarily submitted evaluations of companies, goods, or services by internet users who have (or should have) bought, used, or experienced relevant financial and investment products. In addition to written opinions and evaluations, a grade or rating may also be given to denote the degree of customer satisfaction.

A third of Indonesians check online ratings of financial products (32%), making this the market where consumers are most likely to do so. Indonesians are followed by Indians (30%). In the Asian market, at least a quarter of consumers look at online ratings (32-26%), with China being the sole exception (21%).

Nearly one-fifth of Polish consumers read online ratings of investment and financial products before making a purchase decision, the highest in the European market (18%). Before making a purchase decision, at least one in ten European consumers (10-18%) will check reviews of financial products.

In the British market, men (17%) are more likely to read financial product reviews than women (13%). In the United States, the percentage of males (17%) who read online reviews matches that of Britain, but the activity is less prevalent among females (9%).

Banks and financial service providers must monitor their social media presence because, according to a YouGov poll, one in every five consumers (20%) checks social media reviews before making a purchasing decision. Again, this is significantly lower compared to mobile phones (45%), tech products (43%), hotels (43%), cars (31%), and mobile phone networks (27%), out of home leisure activities (22%) and furniture (21%).

But online review sites don’t make up the full picture – and in fact consumers are more likely to take heed of social media reviews, than they are of more official ratings. Social media reviews are comments made on social media sites such as Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. by online consumers who have likely used, bought, or experienced relevant bank services or financial service providers.

Out of the 17 international markets surveyed, Hong Kong consumers (36%) are the most likely to check social media reviews of banks or financial service providers, followed by Indonesians (31%) and Singaporeans (30%).

A third of Polish consumers (29%) read social media reviews of banks before making a purchase decision, but the figure drops by ten points or more in the rest of Europe. Before making a buying decision, nearly a fifth of people in Spain (19%), Sweden (19%), Germany (19%), and Italy (18%) look for bank reviews on social media.

More than one in every ten consumers in Great Britain uses social media to research bank reviews. Compared to the rest of the markets in this study, consumers in the United States are the least likely to check social media for bank reviews.

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YouGov RealTime Omnibus provides quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18 and over in 17 markets with sample sizes varying between 514 and 2011 for each market. All surveys were conducted online in October 2022. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov RealTime Omnibus

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