Big four satisfaction rates lowest among home loan customers

by AB29 May 2013

Consumers’ satisfaction with the big four remained unchanged on a 17-year high of 78.9% in April, but home loan customers remain much less satisfied overall, with an average of just 75.3% (compared to non-home loan customers with 79.9% satisfaction), according to Roy Morgan Research Consumer Banking in Australia Customer Satisfaction Report for April 2013.

This is despite the fact that home loan customers have had four interest rate reductions over the last 12 months.

In April, CBA continued to lead the majors in customer satisfaction overall with 80.5% (up 0.1% points from March), followed by NAB (79.3%, no change), ANZ (77.6%, up 0.3% points) and Westpac (76.7%, down 0.4% points).

The biggest gap between home loan and non-home loan customers is seen by ANZ, where their home loan customers are 6.2 percentage points below the satisfaction level of their non-home loan customers. The smallest gap is among NAB customers, where the gap is just 2.7 percentage points.

Over the last 12 months, the big four banks, in total, improved their overall customer satisfaction ratings by 2.4 percentage points and their home loan customers by 3 percentage points. The biggest improver in home loan customer satisfaction over the last year was Westpac (up 4.2% points), followed by CBA (up 3.4% points), NAB (up 3.1% points) and ANZ (up 0.9% points).

Norman Morris, industry communications director at Roy Morgan Research, says the results are relatively unexpected.

“It is somewhat surprising, with four interest rate reductions over the last twelve months for home loans, that the home loan customers of all the big four banks still have lower satisfaction levels than their other customers. One of the major reasons for this is most likely the bad press that these banks have received when they didn’t pass on the full official rate reductions.”

“It is likely to take some time to reverse this trend and it was obviously recognised as an issue by the major banks following the May 2013 official cash rate reduction, when they were all seen to pass on the change in full to their home loan customers.”

Morris says it’s been five years since the majors enjoyed higher satisfaction levels from home loan customers than non-home loan clients and says it will require ‘some attention’ in order for overall satisfaction levels to improve in that area.

“The smaller banks, building societies and credit unions all have satisfaction levels among their home loan customers much higher than the big four and some show an even higher satisfaction level than for their non-home loan customers.”