Saturday, March 31st, 2012 - Roy Morgan Research
Satisfaction with banks among consumers declined marginally in February to 79.3% down from 79.6% in January 2012, and showing the first monthly decline since March 2011. By comparison, over the last month banks business customers increased their satisfaction from 66.1% to 66.3%.
These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Consumer Banking Survey of over 50,000 respondents and the Roy Morgan Business Survey of over 12,000 businesses per annum.

The main cause of the drop in consumer satisfaction was the ‘out-of-cycle’ mortgage rises in February, following the Reserve Bank’s decision to keep the cash rate unchanged. It appears that the first bank to make an upward movement in their home loan rate suffers the greatest negative impact on customer satisfaction because of the widespread publicly it attracts. On this occasion it was the ANZ who increased their home loan rate first and as a result their home loan customers showed the largest drop in satisfaction among the home loan customers of the big four. This was despite the fact that the increase in the ANZ rate was the lowest of the big four. It is worth noting that Westpac were the next to announce their home loan rate increase and as a result they also showed a significant drop in the satisfaction level of their home loan customers.

Consumer Banking Satisfaction

Source: Roy Morgan Research Consumer Satisfaction Survey, June 2010 – Feb 2012 Dec 11, average 6 monthly sample n = 25, 154.

For business banking customers, the results show that all major banks still lag well behind personal customers in their satisfaction rating with only 66.3% in February 2012 compared to 79.3% for personal customers. This big disparity between the two groups is likely to attract increasing attention by banks as customers are likely to feel more predisposed to switching banks if their feel that they are not getting a good deal.

Business Banking Satisfaction

Source: Roy Morgan Research Business Banking Survey, June 2010 – Feb 2012, average 6 monthly sample n = 6,859, **7 months to April 2011.

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“It appears that the current campaign by the NAB to position themselves as being different from the remainder of the big four is showing some early positive gains among consumers but not among businesses. All four major banks are now only separated by 2.9% points for consumer satisfaction and all still remain below the overall bank average because of the much higher satisfaction scores achieved by the smaller banks, with Heritage Bank the highest on 91.9% or 13.2% above the NAB.

“While there are some encouraging signs of satisfaction improvements by banks among their business customers it is worth noting that there is a long way to go for all banks in order to catch up with their performance in consumer banking. With the potential for profitable growth becoming much less among consumers, there is likely to be increased competition for growth in the business market, with the result that more focus will need to be on understanding the needs of business customers.

“A major area of weakness seen by business customers across all banks is that they do not maintain regular contact with them and do not follow developments in their industry. In future they will need to focus more on the needs and concerns of their customers and show greater interest in what is obviously a more complex market compared to consumer banking.

“It is worth noting that the top performing big four bank for business customers is Westpac and that it is in fact the lowest performer among the big four in consumer banking.”

The detailed Roy Morgan ‘Business Satisfaction – Business Banking Report in Australia’ report includes ANZ, Bank of Queensland, Bankwest, Bendigo Bank, Citibank, Commonwealth Bank, Macquarie Bank, National Australia Bank, St George Bank, Suncorp and Westpac.

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Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.

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