Big four satisfaction rates reach 18-year high, thanks to mortgage customers

by AB25 Jul 2013

Major bank customer satisfaction rates have reached an 18-year high, largely thanks to home loan customers, according to Roy Morgan research.

In June 2013, consumer satisfaction with the big four banks increased to 79.5%, up from 76.0% in June 2012. Roy Morgan says the improvement of 3.5% points was largely due to a 5.5% point increase in the satisfaction level of the big four’s home loan customers, which the group says ‘was to be expected’ given the number of declines in the official cash rate over this period.

Despite the drop in the home loan rate over the year, however, it is somewhat surprising that the home loan customers of each of the major banks have lower levels of satisfaction compared to non-home loan customers.

“The satisfaction with banks among their personal customers is at historically high levels and is obviously a result of a concerted effort to improve, combined with low interest rates,” says Roy Morgan industry communications director, Norman Morris.

“We have seen in the past that this can change very rapidly if any of the major banks step out of line on what the public thinks is a reasonable thing: such as not passing rate reductions; large profits, etc. How these issues are handled has shown to be a very sensitive issue with bank customers and impacts satisfaction ratings over a considerable period.”

Major bank business customer satisfaction levels remain well below that of their personal customers, at 63.4% and 79.5% respectively in June, according to Roy Morgan research.

The new figures continue an on-going trend which has seen business customers grow increasingly discontent with the big four.

In the 6 months to June 2013, the satisfaction level of each of the major banks’ business customers was significantly below that of their personal customers. ANZ had the biggest gap between the ratings of the two groups, with personal customer having 78.5% satisfaction compared to only 59.6% for their business customers. This difference of 18.9% points resulted in a combined satisfaction (i.e. business and personal) rating for the ANZ of 75.9% - the lowest of the four majors.

Westpac has the smallest gap between the satisfaction rating of its personal and business customers, but business customers still rate them 10.2% points below the rating given by personal customers.

The top performer among the major banks based on the combined personal and business customers was CBA with 79.2%, followed by Westpac (76.7%) and NAB (76.4%). All of these banks, however, were well behind Bendigo Bank with a total customer satisfaction rating of 86.8%.

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