The MSR Group Awards First Citizens Bank Highest in Customer Advocacy for the Southern Region - The MSR Group

Omaha, Nebraska April 2, 2013 – The MSR Group today announced that North Carolina-based First Citizens Bank is the recipient of its APECS® Customer Advocacy Award, Southern Region.

This award is given to the client retail banking organization receiving the highest Net Advocacy Rating (NAR®) among its customers within their respective region. To qualify as a potential recipient, clients must have achieved a rating significantly higher than the national or regional average (whichever is higher) and rank highest among all APECS® clients. First Citizens posted a 2012 Net Advocacy Rating five points higher than the 2012 APECS® Southern Region Average. First Citizens Bank’s rating is significantly higher than many of the nation’s largest banks, including Bank of America, Chase, US Bank and Wells Fargo, to name a few. Net Advocacy Rating (NAR®) is one of the strongest indicators of customer retention and increased revenue for financial institutions.

“At First Citizens, a hallmark of our company is exceptional service—for more than a century, we’ve worked hard to establish and build long-lasting financial relationships with our customers,” said Doug Sprecher, senior vice president and manager of retail sales support at First Citizens Bank. “The high rating we received is due in great measure to the outstanding efforts of our associates, who uphold our company’s high expectations for excellence and deliver the best possible service to our clients every day.  Our goal is to put our customers first—whether in our branches, online, via mobile banking or through our ATM network—in all the many ways people bank with us.”

Ratings are based on results from The MSR Group’s National Consumer Banking Survey, a study which collects feedback on customer satisfaction and advocacy for more than 100 banks and credit unions. To ensure accurate benchmark comparisons for clients, a stratified random sampling of retail banking consumers is conducted each quarter, gathering feedback on consumers’ banking experiences within each of four quadrants across the US. This rolling tracking study interviews 2,400 retail banking consumers annually. Respondents are screened to be at least 21 years of age and have utilized their bank within the previous two weeks for at least one of the following transaction types: branch visit, ATM, online banking, mobile banking or call center.

“First Citizens is committed to exceeding customer expectations and a customer feedback program like APECS® lets them gauge how well they’re meeting that goal on multiple levels,” said The MSR Group President Dick Worick. “Their ability to build advocacy among their customer base is reflected in this rating.”

First Citizens BancShares is the financial holding company for First Citizens Bank. Headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., First Citizens Bank provides a broad range of financial services to individuals, businesses, professionals and the medical community through a network of more than 400 branch offices, telephone banking, mobile and online banking and ATMs. First Citizens is located in 17 states and the District of Columbia. Its website is As of December 31, 2012, BancShares had consolidated assets totaling $21.28 billion.

The MSR Group is a nationally recognized full-service market research company. Located in Omaha, Nebraska, The MSR Group offers a full complement of quantitative and qualitative methodologies across the financial, retail, advertising and agricultural industries. The firm’s proprietary APECS® System specializes in providing “real-time” voice of the customer research for financial institutions.