Investors have grown more skeptical of their full-service brokers, even as overall satisfaction rebounded along with the markets during the past year, according to the latest J.D. Power & Associates survey.
The annual study measures investor perceptions of their advisers, their investment performance, account fees and other issues. On average, full-service brokerages boosted their satisfaction score from the past year, reflecting the market's recovery and also greater reliance on advisers.
Closely held Edward Jones, Royal Bank of Canada's RBC Wealth Management and private equity-controlled LPL Financial were the top three firms in the study.
The industry's three biggest firms -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch , Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and Wells Fargo Advisers -- ranked below the industry average and received some of the lowest overall satisfaction scores.
The general reputation of brokerages, meanwhile, continued to sink this year despite the rebound.
An increasing proportion of investors said they believed their investment firm was driven more by profit concerns than focused on the customer.
Most investors have enjoyed positive short-term gains in their portfolio as a result of the market recovery, but this has not translated into an improvement in investor sentiment toward their firm, said David Lo, investment services director at J.D. Power.
The investor satisfaction study, fielded in May, is based on responses from 4,460 investors who consult an investment advisor.
(Reporting by Joseph A. Giannone; Editing by Andre Grenon and Lisa Von Ahn)