Gen Z & Millennials More Likely to Cut Ties with Financial Institution Over Social Media Comments Than Boomers or Gen X

Negative reviews and comments on social media sites may be more offensive to younger generations than older generations, according to new survey

ATLANTA, Nov. 11, 2020 – York Public Relations, the nation’s only crisis PR firm dedicated exclusively to mitigating crises for financial institutions and fintechs, today revealed that one-quarter (25%) of Gen Z (ages 18-23) and nearly one-quarter (23%) of Millennials (ages 24-39) would part ways with their bank or credit union if it received negative reviews/comments on social media, compared to just 17% of Gen X (ages 40-55) and 9% of Boomers (ages 56-74). The survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of York Public Relations, garnering responses from 2,053 U.S. adults age 18 and older.

For several years, there has been significant criticism of younger generations, with terms like “Snowflake” used for being perceived as overly sensitive. However, others have recently argued this simply is not the case. While young Millennials and Gen Z may have problems with ideals appropriate to Boomers or Gen X, this isn’t anything new. Younger generations have historically taken different stances on issues than older generations.

On the other hand, some argue that younger generations are more plugged into the world around them, having greater accessibility to information than any generation before them. Consequently, younger generations may have stronger opinions on issues today than before.

Regardless, it is important that financial institutions understand the generational differences of what some groups may find problematic enough to end a relationship with their bank compared to other groups. This requires knowing your customer or member base and communicating to them during crises based on what matters most to them.

“Based on our latest consumer survey, there are clear differences among generations that would prompt them to break up with their FI,” said Mary York, CEO of York Public Relations. “It is critical that financial institutions know these differences and react accordingly during an emergency. A social media fiasco may not be relevant to the customers who’ve been with your FI for 15 or 20 years, but it may have an impact on younger individuals in your community and therefore impact acquisition efforts.”