Consumers’ satisfaction with the big four banks increased to a 17-year high of 79% in May, up from 76.2% at the same time last year, according to the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Research Consumer Banking in Australia Customer Satisfaction Report.
The research group says this 2.8% improvement was largely due to a 4.3% point increase in the satisfaction level of the big four’s home loan customers as a result of five decreases in the cash rate by the RBA in the last year.
Over the last 12 months, ANZ, NAB and Westpac had bigger increases in satisfaction levels of their mortgage customers compared to their non-mortgage customers. Westpac’s mortgage customer satisfaction increased by 7.1% points, ANZ by 5.0% points and NAB by 4.0% points.
CBA’s mortgage customer satisfaction increased by 2.3% points, but this was below the increase of 3.1% points seen by other customers. All of the majors’ mortgage customers’ satisfaction remains below the level of other customers - but the gap is closing.
In May 2013, CBA continued to lead the big four in customer satisfaction, with 80.3% (down 0.2% points from April), followed by NAB 78.7% (down 0.6% points), ANZ 78.6% (up 1.0% points) and Westpac 77.0% (up 0.3% points).
However, while the majors are battling for first place among their peers, sixteen other smaller banks all have higher satisfaction levels than the best of the big four. The average satisfaction level for all of the banks outside the majors in May 2013 was 85.0%, compared to 79.0% for the big four.
“While bank competition in the consumer market (particularly for home loans) is strong,” says Roy Morgan Research industry communications director, Norman Morris, “with improving satisfaction levels, business customers are being left well behind with satisfaction levels well below that of consumers.”
“Currently the Roy Morgan Business Survey shows that bank satisfaction levels of the big four is only running at 63.6% compared to 79.0% for consumers. With around two million small and micro businesses, a low satisfaction result will obviously impact on the consumer market results as owners’ personal and business financial dealings are often inseparable.”