Banking experts say that Wells Fargo competes well among other large banks in the U.S. Its online banking operations have some useful features, such as money management and mobile banking. However, reviewers note that Wells Fargo has many of the drawbacks associated with traditional banks: It has a complicated system of fees and minimum balances on many accounts, and savings accounts have a significantly lower APY than online-only banks like ING Direct. There's also a fee for using ATMs not on Wells Fargo's network, something that some other banks (such as Charles Schwab) refund to their account holders.
As one of America's biggest banks, Wells Fargo gets annual ratings from a number of organizations. Keynote Systems conducts objective research and rates banks on factors including the functionality and ease of use of their websites -- factors important to customers who want to do all or most of their banking online. The latest Keynote Systems Scorecard, released in May 2012, has Wells Fargo in third place overall among 24 big banks and second among the 24 for the functionality of its website.
Another annual study, this one by ComScore.com, measures customer satisfaction with their banks, and also with the bank's website. ComScore's most recent report has Wells Fargo tied for second among the five biggest banks of overall satisfaction, but tied for last when customers rate their satisfaction with the banks' websites. In a similar study, The American Customer Satisfaction Index, Wells Fargo is tied for first place with Citigroup among the four biggest banks.
MyBankTracker.com issues bank report cards based, in part, on customer ratings. Wells Fargo gets a low rating -- 2 out of 5 stars -- based on reports from more than 550 customers. The editors of the site assign Wells Fargo a slightly higher rating, 3 stars, but the only area in which they rate it good is mobile banking.
1. Keynote Systems
The report ranks 24 banks based on four factors: functionality, ease of use, privacy and security, and quality and availability. In addition, banks are rated on five specific tasks, including opening an account and making a transaction.
Review: Keynote Scorecards for Financial Services/Banks, Editors of Keynote Systems Inc, May 9, 2012
This report is based on a survey of more than 2,500 people who bank online at top U.S. banks. The five largest banks are ranked by both overall customer satisfaction and satisfaction with the banks' websites.
Review: The 2011 State of Online and Mobile Banking Report, Sarah Lenart and Nathan Frederiksen, Feb. 2012
3. The American Customer Satisfaction Index
A chart shows historical and 2011 customer satisfaction ratings for the largest banks. For 2011, Wells Fargo ties with Citigroup for the top ranking. As an accompanying commentary notes, however, in the past several years, no big bank has very high customer satisfaction levels.
Review: Untitled, Editors of The American Customer Satisfaction Index, Dec. 13, 2011
Wells Fargo is rated both by the editors of this site and by customers who post reviews. Nearly 550 customers have teamed up to give the bank a rating of 2 out of 5 stars. Editors rate it slightly higher: 3 out of 5 stars
Review: Bank Report Card, Editors of and contributors to MyBankTracker.com