Bank satisfaction drops to 7-year low

by Rebecca Pike28 Nov 2018

In the six months to October satisfaction with the banks dropped again, revealing the lowest satisfaction levels in seven years.

Research from Roy Morgan shows bank satisfaction is at 78%, down from 78.5% in September. In the six months prior to January 2018, before the start of the Royal Commission, satisfaction was at 81.2%.

The decline of 3.2% since January leaves it at its lowest since August 2011 when it was at 77.9%.

The figure remains well above the long term average and the lowest bank satisfaction result, which was recorded in 2001 as 58.7%.

The experts at Roy Morgan noted that the figure shows the majority of customers are satisfied with their banks, particularly considering the latest figures in the high level of negative publicity.

Satisfaction with the majors showed the biggest decline over the Royal Commission period, falling from 79.2% in January to 75% in the October report.

The satisfaction among customers of banks other than the big four, showed a decline of only 1% over the same period, leaving them with an overall customer satisfaction rating of 83.9%.

The mortgage customers of the smaller banks continue to have higher satisfaction ratings than the big four.

ING is the highest home loan performer among the ten largest banks with 94.8% satisfaction, followed by Bendigo Bank on 89.7%.

Both of these banks have higher satisfaction among their home loan customers than they have with their customers overall. They are followed by St George (81.5%), Bankwest (77.8%) and Suncorp Bank (77.6%).

The big four banks all have very similar satisfaction ratings among their home loan customers, with CBA and ANZ both on 71.4%, followed by Westpac  with 70.7% and NAB 70.3%.

The satisfaction of home loan customers of all four is not only much lower than their smaller rivals but are below their own overall customer average satisfaction ratings, which brings their total down.

Norman Morris, industry communications director, Roy Morgan said, “Given the high volume of negative publicity relating to the big four banks that continues to be generated by the Royal Commission, it is not surprising that customer satisfaction with them has shown  greater declines than for other banks this year.

“This has resulted in satisfaction with banks overall currently being at their lowest level since 2011. What needs to be noted however is that contrary to all the negative reporting on banks, the clear majority of their customers remain satisfied with them and only around 6% claim to be dissatisfied.

“It is somewhat  surprising to see that even with historically low interest rates, home loan customers of the big four banks are not only less satisfied than their other customers but are well behind the satisfaction of the home loan customers of the smaller banks. This remains a problem in the highly competitive home loan market as well as being a drag on their overall satisfaction and advocacy levels.

“The data used here is only a small part of the consumer finance information available from Roy Morgan. The full database enables a truly holistic and unique understanding of consumers’ financial behaviour and trends gathered from over one million interviews across two decades. To understand more regarding what drives customer satisfaction and advocacy levels, simply ask Roy Morgan.”

Roy Morgan’s Customer Satisfaction-Consumer Banking in Australia October Report is based on in-depth interviews conducted face-to-face with more than 50,000 customers each year in their homes.