Only 28% see big banks as best service option

by Miklos Bolza03 Feb 2017
While a significant portion of the national home loan market is held by the big four banks, new research suggests that only 28% of Australians believe the major banks would offer suitable customer service in an emergency.
A Galaxy Research survey of just over 1,000 respondents for non-bank lender State Custodians Home Loans polled participants on who would provide better service for seeking out or re-negotiating a mortgage during a life-changing event. This included such circumstances as becoming unemployed, divorced, seriously ill or suffering a death in the family – all situations which would change one’s financial stability.
Respondents gave mixed results when choosing who else would provide the right level of service and care in an emergency. Thirty-seven per cent said they would opt for a smaller lending institution, 25% nominated a mortgage broker, 22% said an accountant, lawyer or financial planner, and 10% put down a non-bank lender.
“When you’re in crisis mode it can be very stressful and confusing trying to make any major decision. I think trust is very important in dire situations and sometimes with larger institutions people can feel like they’re ‘just a number’,” said Joanna Pretty, general manager of State Custodians.
“Any organisation or person who can give you the right information and reassure you that they’ll look after you is important.”
The survey also found that 32% of women were likely to go to a bank for better service in a time of need while 25% of men thought the same.
Looking at age, 43% of young adults aged between 18 and 24 said they would choose a financial planner, accountant or lawyer. For those aged 25 to 34, 34% would approach a smaller lending institution as would 46% of those over 50.
Generation X (those between 35 and 49 years old) were most likely to go to a mortgage broker with 34% nominating this type of loan advisor. Amongst other age brackets, the following proportion of people said they would prefer a broker in a time of crisis:
  • 18 to 24 years: 22%
  • 25 to 34 years: 30%
  • 35 to 49 years: 34%
  • Over 50 years: 19%
“People in the 25 to 49 age bracket are time poor and want to be presented with some options that suit their circumstances closely, and a broker performs that function,” Pretty told Australian Broker. “With the other groups, familiarity with online options direct to a lender often drives younger groups; while older borrowers feel experienced enough to assess their own options as they may have searched for a home loan a few times before.”
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