Wednesday, May 29th, 2013 - Roy Morgan Research

The satisfaction of the Big Four Banks’ business customers in April 2013 was only 63.7%, essentially unchanged from 64.0% in March and well below the satisfaction level of their personal customers (78.9% in April 2013). Over the last 12 months the gap between the satisfaction levels of the Big Four Banks’ business and personal customers has widened further with personal customer satisfaction improving by 2.4 percentage points compared to a reduction of 0.4 percentage points for business customers. These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Business Single Source survey which conducts over 30,000 interviews with business decision makers per annum and the Roy Morgan Consumer Single Source survey of over 50,000 interviews per annum.

Westpac remains the clear leader among the Big Four with 66.9% satisfaction, followed by CBA (64.7%), NAB (63.6%) and ANZ (59.5%). Over the past 12 months the CBA has been the big improver (up 3.0% points) and the ANZ was down 4.4 percentage points. Over the last month the CBA was the only major banks to improve (up 1.0% points).

The “Micro” segment (annual turnover less than $1m), which accounts for around 85% of businesses in Australia, is the least satisfied with the major banks (63.3%) but even the “Medium/Large” segment (annual turnover $5m+) has a satisfaction level of just 67.6%. Clearly improvement is needed across all segments if the banks are to attract and retain customers.

Westpac performs strongly in most product areas and in particular it remains well ahead of the other majors in how its customers rate it for satisfaction with “relationship manager/business banker”, which is obviously a key driver of their performance. The CBA has a problem with low satisfaction with “loans”, the ANZ rates very poorly for “deposits” and “loans” and the NAB scores below average on “relationship manager/business banker”.

** 7 months to April 2011. Source:Roy Morgan Research Business Single Source, April 2013, average 6 monthly sample n = 6,763.

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“The major banks are all continuing to struggle with achieving the satisfaction results that they are seeing from their personal customers and need to improve in areas that show they have a real interest and empathy with the issues relating to their business customers and not focus so much on products.

“It is obvious that a poor rating among business customers will impact on personal customer ratings yet this is often not clearly understood. In the case of the approximately two million small businesses; the owners’ personal and business interests are closely interlinked, as is their banking.

“If the Big Four Banks are trying to grow their business banking they should also focus more on the 30% of their business customers who don’t rate them currently as their main financial institution (MFI) and score them very low on satisfaction. It is always much easier to keep a customer than to attract a new one.

“Over the first four months of 2013, the Roy Morgan Research Business Confidence Survey has been at its highest level since early 2011 and this improved confidence is likely to lead to an increased interest in borrowing.

“If this momentum in business confidence continues, banks will need to focus more on satisfying their customers’ needs if they are to gain from the likely pick up in demand. There are already some signs in the market that competition among banks to attract new business is hotting up but the focus will also need to be on existing customers."

 

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