TOKYO -- When it comes to keeping clients happy, Sony Bank and Seven Bank appear to be a cut above. The duo shared first place in The Nikkei's latest ranking of Japanese financial institutions based on customer satisfaction.
The ranking -- the 10th conducted by the media company -- was compiled through a survey of individual customers living in three big metropolitan areas, encompassing Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. Sony Bank, which provides services online in lieu of physical branches, won top honors for the seventh year in a row, earning plaudits for its wide array of financial products.
Seven Bank made it to the highest rung for the first time, with respondents citing the convenience of its ATMs.
Sony Bank is part of the major electronics group's financial segment. Among its popular services: letting customers start making foreign currency deposits with only 500 yen ($4.78).
Seven Bank, which is under the umbrella of Seven & i Holdings, has about 19,000 banking machines across the country. Most are at the group's 7-Eleven convenience stores. Generally, the ATMs are accessible around the clock, seven days a week.
Seven Bank's ATMs are growing popular with customers who need to remit money abroad. The machines offer nine language options, including English, Chinese and the Philippine language of Tagalog.
SBI Sumishin Net Bank came in third, thanks to low interest rates on its housing loans and card loans.
Among banks considered major institutions, only two cracked the top 10: Resona Bank, which ranked ninth, and Shinsei Bank, which snagged 10th place. Both took steps backward. Resona had been the No. 6 bank on the previous list, while Shinsei had been No. 8.