European Top 10 Banking Website Performance Benchmark

We recently conducted a detailed performance benchmark for the top 10 North American and Middle East banks' websites. As we mentioned in previous blogs, speed has occupied the world, and we all know customers do not wait for a not responsive or slow-loading website page. Therefore, some financial organizations have already started their digital transformation to offer a better user experience. To provide a better insight into the performance of financial institutes around the world, we performed a comprehensive benchmark amongst the Top 10 European Banking websites.


You can also find the website performance benchmark reports of North America and the Middle East through the Performetriks blog page.


TOP 10 BANKS IN NORTH AMERICA

TOP 10 BANKS IN MIDDLE EAST


Difficulties that we encountered to develop performance benchmarks for banking websites are as follow:


  • Limiting the performance check to the front-end layer since we don't have access to all the backend systems.

  • Hundreds of devices and browsers are in use

  • Customers are connected using all kinds of network speed and geographical connections


To address the complexity and provide a meaningful comparison, we used a SaaS-based synthetic monitoring approach. We use the start page web URL of the top 10 banking websites and execute them every 60 minutes on three monitoring locations.



Research Questions

  • How does a web performance benchmark of the Top 10 European Banks look like?

  • How many are impacted by performance issues?

  • What are their top performance challenges?


Benchmarking Approach

  • Synthetic monitoring of their websites during a week

  • Test execution every 60 minutes from 3 locations

  • Used Dynatrace Synthetic Monitoring


Sample Monitoring Script


{
        "version": "1.0",
        "requests": [
               {
                       "description": "hsbc.com ",
                       "url": "https://www.hsbc.com/
                       "method": "GET",
                       "validation": {
                               "rules": [
                                      {
                                              "value": ">=400",
                                              "passIfFound": false,
                                              "type": "httpStatusesList"
                                      }
                               ]
                       },
                       "configuration": {
                               "acceptAnyCertificate": true,
                               "followRedirects": true
                       }
               }
        ]
}


We've executed our monitoring scripts once every 60 minutes during seven days on the following locations

  • London

  • Paris

  • Frankfurt

Factors impact website speed

  • Page Load Time

  • Time to First Byte

  • Page Size


Although there are more performance benchmarking metrics, we decided to skip the remaining to avoid unnecessary complexity.


How to compare these metrics?
  • Calculate the average Page Load Time, Time to First Byte, and Page Size for each bank during the seven days monitoring periods.

  • Normalized results and expressed the average values as percentages to make a more meaningful comparison.


Sample calculation

Average response times


Bank 1: 2 sec Page Load Time

Bank 2: 3 sec Page Load Time

Bank 3: 5 sec Page Load Time


Benchmark calculation


Bank 1: 100 / summary (Bank1, Bank 2, Bank3) * 2 = 20 %

Bank 2: 100 / summary (Bank1, Bank 2, Bank3) * 3 = 30 %

Bank 3: 100 / summary (Bank1, Bank 2, Bank3) * 5 = 50 %

Page Load Time Benchmark: (25 + 25 + 50 / 3) = 33 %


Results


Page Load Time of Bank 1 and Bank 2 are better than the Benchmark.

Page Load Time of Bank 3 is 17 % above the Benchmark.

The results of our Banking Website Performance Benchmark

Our performance comparison demonstrated that 30 percent of the banking websites are facing performance problems.



In the chart above, the percentage of Page Size is the same in all banks examined. So, there is a good chance for each bank to optimize its web page size and improve its performance to become faster compared to the others.


Apart from Bank C, other banks have a good condition in terms of, Time to First Byte and Page Load Time. In our performance benchmark, we figured out that 30% of the banking websites suffer from higher page load times. For 20 percent of banks, Time to First Byte was higher than other their competitors.


Conclusion

The competition between European banks is very close however one of them suffer major issue in Time to First Byte and Page Load Time. The chart reveals that the rivalry for becoming the best user experience is still ongoing in the European financial service industry. The fast-loading and responsive banking websites plus attractive design are crucial factors that absorb current and future customers, especially the tech-savvy ones.






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