A study by UK-based Raft International has revealed that most private banking Web sites are largely invisible to the estimated 50,000 people who search the Internet for them every month.
Of the 387 sites that consistently appeared in Internet searches for "private bank" and "private banking", the top ten sites achieved 62% of the total exposure, leaving few opportunities for other contenders.
The top Web site, Credit Suisse private banking, achieved on average almost two listings per search. This made it three times more visible on the Internet than any other private bank, the nearest contender achieving only a 60% likelihood of appearing at all.
The Web visibility findings were calculated in the first quarter of 2001 from the search results of the twenty largest Internet search engines, representing over 95% of the global Internet search traffic. The visibility rating for each Web site depends on the number of searches it appeared in, the position in each search result and the market share of the search engine being used.
David Priestley, executive chairman of Raft International says: "With the exception of the top four sites, the majority of private banks have not yet got to grips with the potential of Internet branding as an opportunity to engage new clients. Even if only a small proportion of the 50,000 searches each month are translated into fee income, this is a huge revenue stream that most private banks have little or no access to."
The ranking was based on the likelihood of finding at least one link to a Web site during a search. The top ten most visible private bank Web sites in terms of links to every search completed were found to be:
1. Credit Suisse 195.7%
2. Royal Bank of Canada 60.3%
3. CIBC - Global 47.9%
4. Bank of New York 46.1%
5. Jyske Bank 19.8%
6. Chase 16.4%
7. Barings-Guernsey 14.9%
8. UBS 13.1%
9. Flemings 11.5%
10. Summitbank 9.7%