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CU Websites Outshine Banks' On Providing Info
LAKE BLUFF, Ill. (8/22/13)--Credit unions outshine banks in providing the information consumers seek on their websites, according to a new study. However, financial institutions in general can make better use of their sites as a tool for compliance, resource use and new business.

The survey of the websites of 1,676 credit unions, banks and thrifts with more than $500 million in assets was conducted in June by Lake Bluff, Ill.-based Moebs $ervices. It found that in their quest to implement the Dodd-Frank Act properly, financial institutions either overlooked or underused their website as a key tool.

Of the institutions studied, 32% offered the information consumers sought on their websites, and 83.7% of the websites provided answers that were consistent with those given through their call centers, said the firm.

Roughly 40% of credit unions provided the data that website visitors sought, according to the study. That compares with 33% of thrifts and 28% of banks surveyed.  Credit unions beat thrifts on providing consistent data, with 83.9% of credit unions doing so, compared with 83.5% of thrifts and 84.3% of banks.  Larger institutions in the study provided more data and more consistent data.

Moebs $ervices noted two key findings: Websites are underused as a source of information for member/customers, and procedures to ensure consistent information, regardless of channel, need to be in place to reduce pressure on call center and branch staff to provide data a consumer seeks.

The results point out an opportunity for financial institutions, said Michael Moebs, economist and CEO of the firm. "Websites can be enhanced to provide more data and more consistent information for consumers, which can: reduce compliance risk, promote greater efficiency of call center and branch personnel, and foster more sales," he said.
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