Um, Didn’t Credit Default Swaps, Not Good Customer Experiences Kill the Banking Industry?

…then why is Chase changing an innovative customer experience in favor of stodgy old values?

As Washington Mutual slowly turns into Chase, the interesting aspects that made it a breath of fresh air versus traditional banking experiences. Gone are the cool mini-kiosks that made it (somewhat) faster and more efficient to do your banking. Back are long teller lines where instead of getting your banking done and then you’re off on your way – you’re hit with credit card and other pitches.

Acquisitions take place for two reasons – to gain market share or to add to the acquisitor’s product or service offerings. In the latter, usually some semblance of the original company persists, because it was what they were doing different that made them a valuable target. It seems here that JP Morgan Chase felt Washington Mutual’s take on banking offered no value to customers.

My question is whether ay research went into these changes, or was this just a knee-jerk reaction? Washington Mutual was not brought down by bad customer service, but bad investment decisions – and I might argue that it’s unique take is what allowed it to grow quickly from a regional bank to a national financial services provider.

But I guess we’ll never know if WaMu’s model was a winner, since Chase has already made the decision to discontinue all of the things that made WaMu what it was.

So now – WaMu sadly looks exactly like the kinds of banking institutions it once mocked:

2 thoughts on “Um, Didn’t Credit Default Swaps, Not Good Customer Experiences Kill the Banking Industry?

  1. The customer experience with the kiosks could border on chaotic. Banks are supposed to project solidity and order. By going back to a teller line, they revert back to a tried and true bank posture which is reassuring, and they distance themselves from WaMu. Not crazy at all.

  2. It is a shame, for both the current Wamu customers and for themselves, that Chase did not keep the WaMu brand as a subset of their own to continue the ‘bank differently’ model. If people chose WaMu or chose to stay with WaMu, because of their approach to customer service, it may be a big mistake to walk away from that idea.

    I do enjoy the irony that Chase believes it to be practical to spend all that money to remodel the branches back to the old boring style.

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