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OneWest Bank - Customer Service Success

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2019, Click to Enter The 2020 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service

Company: OneWest Bank, Pasadena, CA USA
Company Division/Group: CIT Group
Company Description: CIT is a leading national bank focused on empowering businesses and personal savers with the financial agility to navigate their goals. CIT’s consumer banking segment includes its national online bank, CIT Bank, and a Southern California branch bank, OneWest Bank. Discover more at
Nomination Category: Customer Service Awards Success Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Customer Service Success - Financial Service Industries

Nomination Title: OneWest Bank: One Customer and One Business at a Time

Tell the story about what this nominated organization achieved since the beginning of July 2017 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes: REDACTED FOR PUBLICATION

At OneWest Bank, CIT’s regional branch network across Southern California, maintaining a customer-centric approach is integral to our philosophy. This year, we’ve made improvements to improve our commitment to serving customers “one person a time and one business at a time.”

Strong Customer Satisfaction

In June, OneWest partnered with a consulting company to gauge customer satisfaction and identify opportunities to improve the customer experience.

Out of fourteen comparable financial institutions, OneWest’s score ranked higher than twelve and tied with another two, making our satisfaction ranking the highest in the industry, according to the study. The same study rated online satisfaction as the fourth strongest compared to the same twelve financial institutions. While this figure is considered strong compared to other peers measured, it pointed to an opportunity to improve the online experience for OneWest customers.

Improvements to the Online and Branch Experience

As a result of the study, OneWest has made improvements to ease complexities on the back-end and enable branch employees the opportunity to spend more time interacting with customers. Here are some examples:

-OneWest implemented “Fast Path” enabling existing customers to more easily open new accounts online. This saves time and eliminates the chance of error in the application process.
-A redesigned website was introduced which includes a refreshed color pallet and more intuitive navigations system. The new site is also now ADA compliant.
- New card controls for mobile app users were created, enabling customers to easily lock debit cards, set up alerts, and set spending limits– all from their phone.
-Introduced P2P payment app Samsung Pay to make it easier for customers to conduct financial transactions on mobile.
- At the branch level, our technology has been updated to improve efficiency and enable faster transactions for our customers.

These changes enhance the customer experience so employees can focus on creating personalized touchpoints. As a result, this year OneWest branches hosted 57 client seminars, community support events and sent 1.2 million emails on topics such as tax reform, real estate investment and financial empowerment for seniors. Branch managers also personally acknowledged every customer birthday with an individualized notes.

Dedication to the community

Building stronger communities in the areas where we operate is a top priority for us. 100 percent of our managers are affiliated with at least one non-profit and work to make OneWest part of the fabric of the local community. As of the end of October 2018, branch employees had logged 980 volunteers hours in support of local organizations in our Southern California footprint.

Many OneWest customers bank with us as a result of our community partnerships. According to Karen Speers, treasurer of the Friends of Artesia Public Library, “OneWest branch manager Elizabeth began sponsoring our events seven years ago, and soon after started donating supplies to the library. We’ve been grateful for the help and ultimately decided to move our accounts to OneWest because of the unsolicited support from Elizabeth.”

Creating a safer, more equitable community

In Southern California where OneWest Bank serves customers, affordable housing has risen to the top of priorities to solve. OneWest, through its parent company, has prioritized making the region a fairer place to live. Last year, we committed $87.5 million to develop 7,000 affordable housing units across the region, helping nearly 25,000 people in need. This effort has been continued throughout 2018 with a number of impactful grants, such as:

-Last February, we provided the City of LA a grant for first-time, low- and moderate- income families supporting their efforts to secure permanent housing.

-In May, we granted Self-Help, a national community development financial institution, $6 million supporting the creation of a new, full-service credit union branch in central Los Angeles.

- In September, we launched a new Community Investment Loan program to support the construction of multifamily housing and community facilities such as schools and hospitals.