Apr. 06, 2011
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New MyPrivateBanking Research Report

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Majority of Private Banking Websites Not User-friendly, Lacking Relevant Content

The 2011 report on private banking websites by MyPrivatebanking Research finds that compared to the 2009 survey the overall quality of the private banking websites has not improved: less than half of the banks have mastered the basic requirements for a private banking website and, in particular, shortcomings in website content are seriously damaging the chances of winning clients online. Only a third of the websites offer even basic information on fees and costs and less than 10% of the websites surveyed disclose performance data for standard portfolios. Potential clients aren’t finding what really matters to them on private banking websites. Many banks love to show flashy presentations of the bank’s venerable past. However, they avoid displaying critically important information such as fees and portfolio performance.

The private banking website of UBS stands out as a positive example and, for the second time in a row, wins the Global Award “Best Private Banking Website” by MyPrivateBanking. For the report "How Wealth Managers can Win Clients Online" MyPrivateBanking benchmarked the websites of the world's top 40 banks. UBS wins with a total score of 84 out of possible 100 points. According to the report, the UBS private banking site has an excellent structure and navigation and also scores particularly well in relation to its integration of a wide range of interactive tools and social media features. Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank are tied at the second place, with 83 points each. While Merrill Lynch offers an outstanding search function and contact section, Deutsche Bank scores highly due to its use of social media and its client-friendly content. No other provider publishes its private banking fees online in as much detail as Deutsche Bank does.

The analysis and benchmarking of the private banking websites comes to the following conclusions:

  • User-unfriendly navigation and structure: only a third of the providers achieved a decent standard of usability for their websites. One major trouble spot that often causes major problems is the search function: 60% of the banks are unable to provide the user with relevant search results for such important terms as “assets under management” or “headquarters”.

  • Lack of critical information for clients: while the majority of the private banking websites are strong on soft data, such as the description of services offered and the investment process, they have a serious lack of the hard data. Basic details of the amount of assets under management and the minimum investment sum are missing on almost half of private banking websites. Comprehensive data on costs and performance are disclosed only on a few websites.

  • Contact options strong, interactivity weak: the contact section is the strong point of most private banking websites. Nine out of ten websites offer various means of contacts, which the user can find easily. However, in spite of the fast growing importance of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter the integration of them on these websites is still very weak as is the integration of interactive tools.

  • European providers leading in online presence: of the 15 websites of non-European providers surveyed only two are able to make it into the top 10.

Banks that still believe more in the power of marble halls and exclusive events, and regard online channels as merely “nice to have” and a playground for gilded youth, will have a rude awakening.

According to the MyPrivateBanking report, the slow adaptation to the new online realities is all the more surprising as it wouldn’t take much to improve the banks’ potential to win new clients significantly. Simple measures such as including online information on fees and the performances of standard portfolios would increase the credibility and brand differentiation of the private banking websites. By further integrating social media features, new client groups could be reached at low cost and websites would become a tool for dialogue with potential clients rather than merely an online brochure.

Top 10 Private Banking Websites (overall 40 banks ranked):
 

Rank

Bank

Total Points (max. 100)

1

UBS

84

2

Merrill Lynch

83

2

Deutsche Bank

83

4

Credit Suisse

82

5

Banque Pictet

77

6

Barclays

74

7

Credit Agricole

74

8

Julius Bär

73

9

Société Général

72

9

Royal Bank of Canada

72

 

Average Points
(of all 40 banks)

65


About the report:
This report "How Wealth Managers can Win Clients Online"
analyzes in detail the strengths and weaknesses of the private banking websites of the 40 largest private banks and wealth managers worldwide. Based on 50 criteria grouped into three main categories of evaluation, the report benchmarks the user-friendliness of the websites, the quality of the content and the contact options and interactivity offered by each bank.

Private Banking Websites Analysed:
ABN Amro, ANZ, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, Bank of NY Mellon, Banque Pictet, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citibank, Clariden Leu, Coutts & Co, Credit Agricole, Credit Suisse, DBS Bank, Deutsche Bank, Erste, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, ING Groep, Itau Private Bank, J.P. Morgan, Julius Bär, Kleinwort Benson, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Lombard Odier, Macquarie, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Nordea, RBS Coutts, Rothschild, Royal Bank of Canada, Sal. Oppenheim, Santander, SEB, Societe General, Standard Chartered, U. S. Trust, UBS, Vontobel, Wells Fargo.

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New MyPrivateBanking Research Report

Majority of Private Banking Websites Not User-friendly, Lacking Relevant Content

  Apr. 06, 2011

The 2011 report on private banking websites by MyPrivatebanking Research finds that compared to the 2009 survey the overall quality of the private banking websites has not improved: less than half of the banks have mastered the basic requirements for a private banking website and, in particular, shortcomings in website content are seriously damaging the chances of winning clients online. Only a third of the websites offer even basic information on fees and costs and less than 10% of the websites surveyed disclose performance data for standard portfolios. Potential clients aren’t finding what really matters to them on private banking websites. Many banks love to show flashy presentations of the bank’s venerable past. However, they avoid displaying critically important information such as fees and portfolio performance.

The private banking website of UBS stands out as a positive example and, for the second time in a row, wins the Global Award “Best Private Banking Website” by MyPrivateBanking. For the report "How Wealth Managers can Win Clients Online" MyPrivateBanking benchmarked the websites of the world's top 40 banks. UBS wins with a total score of 84 out of possible 100 points. According to the report, the UBS private banking site has an excellent structure and navigation and also scores particularly well in relation to its integration of a wide range of interactive tools and social media features. Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank are tied at the second place, with 83 points each. While Merrill Lynch offers an outstanding search function and contact section, Deutsche Bank scores highly due to its use of social media and its client-friendly content. No other provider publishes its private banking fees online in as much detail as Deutsche Bank does.

The analysis and benchmarking of the private banking websites comes to the following conclusions:

  • User-unfriendly navigation and structure: only a third of the providers achieved a decent standard of usability for their websites. One major trouble spot that often causes major problems is the search function: 60% of the banks are unable to provide the user with relevant search results for such important terms as “assets under management” or “headquarters”.

  • Lack of critical information for clients: while the majority of the private banking websites are strong on soft data, such as the description of services offered and the investment process, they have a serious lack of the hard data. Basic details of the amount of assets under management and the minimum investment sum are missing on almost half of private banking websites. Comprehensive data on costs and performance are disclosed only on a few websites.

  • Contact options strong, interactivity weak: the contact section is the strong point of most private banking websites. Nine out of ten websites offer various means of contacts, which the user can find easily. However, in spite of the fast growing importance of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter the integration of them on these websites is still very weak as is the integration of interactive tools.

  • European providers leading in online presence: of the 15 websites of non-European providers surveyed only two are able to make it into the top 10.

Banks that still believe more in the power of marble halls and exclusive events, and regard online channels as merely “nice to have” and a playground for gilded youth, will have a rude awakening.

According to the MyPrivateBanking report, the slow adaptation to the new online realities is all the more surprising as it wouldn’t take much to improve the banks’ potential to win new clients significantly. Simple measures such as including online information on fees and the performances of standard portfolios would increase the credibility and brand differentiation of the private banking websites. By further integrating social media features, new client groups could be reached at low cost and websites would become a tool for dialogue with potential clients rather than merely an online brochure.

Top 10 Private Banking Websites (overall 40 banks ranked):
 

Rank

Bank

Total Points (max. 100)

1

UBS

84

2

Merrill Lynch

83

2

Deutsche Bank

83

4

Credit Suisse

82

5

Banque Pictet

77

6

Barclays

74

7

Credit Agricole

74

8

Julius Bär

73

9

Société Général

72

9

Royal Bank of Canada

72

 

Average Points
(of all 40 banks)

65


About the report:
This report "How Wealth Managers can Win Clients Online"
analyzes in detail the strengths and weaknesses of the private banking websites of the 40 largest private banks and wealth managers worldwide. Based on 50 criteria grouped into three main categories of evaluation, the report benchmarks the user-friendliness of the websites, the quality of the content and the contact options and interactivity offered by each bank.

Private Banking Websites Analysed:
ABN Amro, ANZ, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, Bank of NY Mellon, Banque Pictet, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citibank, Clariden Leu, Coutts & Co, Credit Agricole, Credit Suisse, DBS Bank, Deutsche Bank, Erste, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, ING Groep, Itau Private Bank, J.P. Morgan, Julius Bär, Kleinwort Benson, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Lombard Odier, Macquarie, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Nordea, RBS Coutts, Rothschild, Royal Bank of Canada, Sal. Oppenheim, Santander, SEB, Societe General, Standard Chartered, U. S. Trust, UBS, Vontobel, Wells Fargo.