Thursday, August 29th, 2013 - Roy Morgan Research

In July, the satisfaction level of the four major banks' business customers increased to its highest level of 2013 so far, but is still well behind the satisfaction of their personal customers.

The satisfaction level of the business customers of the four major banks increased to 64.3% in July 2013, up from 63.4% in June 2013. Although this is the highest level achieved in 2013, it is still well behind the satisfaction of their personal customers (79.5%). This is impacting on the overall customer satisfaction of the Big Four which Roy Morgan Research is in the unique position of being able to measure. These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Research Business and Consumers Single Source surveys with a combined sample of around 65,000 per annum.

In the 6 months to July 2013, the satisfaction level of each of the big four banks’ business customers was significantly below that of their personal customers. The ANZ had the biggest gap between the ratings of the two groups with personal customer having 78.2% satisfaction compared to only 61.5% for their business customers. This difference of 16.7% points resulted in a combined satisfaction (i.e. business and personal) rating for the ANZ of 76.0%, the lowest of the four Majors.

Westpac has the smallest gap between the satisfaction rating of its personal and business customers, but business customers still rate them 10.9% points below the rating given by personal customers.

The top performer among the major banks based on the combined personal and business customers was the Commonwealth Bank with 79.5%, followed by Westpac (76.8%) and NAB (76.5%). All of these banks, however, were well behind Bendigo Bank with a total customer satisfaction rating of 86.5%.

Consumer Banking Satisfaction

In July 2013, consumer satisfaction with the Big Four banks remained on an eighteen year high of 79.5%, up from 76.1% in July 2012. This improvement of 3.4% points was largely due to a 6.6% point increase in the satisfaction level of the Big Four’s home loan customers; this was to be expected given the number of declines in the official cash rate over this period.

Despite the drop in the home loan rate over the year, it is somewhat surprising that the home loan customers of each of the Big Four banks have lower levels of satisfaction compared to non-home loan customers who are likely to have been negatively impacted by lower deposit rates.

In July 2013, the Commonwealth Bank increased its lead among the Big Four in customer satisfaction with 80.9% (up 0.2% points from June), followed by the NAB (78.9%), Westpac (78.3%) and the ANZ (78.2%). The CBA currently has the highest satisfaction among home loan customers of the Big Four with 78.2% and also leads in non-home loan customer satisfaction with 81.5%.

Business Banking Satisfaction

Satisfaction with business customers of the Big Four banks showed some improvement in July, increasing by 0.9% from June to 64.3%.

Westpac remains the clear leader among the Majors with 67.4%, followed by the Commonwealth Bank (65.0%), NAB (63.1%) and ANZ (61.5%). Westpac is also the leader across all business sizes and major product categories.

Source:Roy Morgan Research Consumer Single Source, February – July 2013, n= 27,359; Roy Morgan Research Business Single Source, February – July 2013, n=6,927

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, says:

“The satisfaction with banks among their personal customers remains at historically high levels and is obviously a result of a concerted effort to improve, combined with low interest rates. We have seen in the past that this can change very rapidly if any of the major banks step out of line on what the public thinks is a reasonable thing: such as not passing rate reductions; large profits, etc. How these issues are handled has shown to be a very sensitive issue with bank customers and impacts satisfaction ratings over a considerable period.

"The CBA remains on top of the big Four among personal customers because it has shown to have the highest ranking among its major competitors in areas such as having “friendly, courteous, knowledgeable staff”, “convenient ways to access money”, “comfortable, secure, friendly branch atmosphere”, and “efficient, error free service”.

"With the major focus on the relative safety of personal customers, it appears that the Big Fours’ business customers have been left behind in terms of how they feel they are being treated, although there were signs of improvements in July.

"The business customers continue to rate their banks very low on ‘maintaining regular contact’, ‘following developments in the industry’ and generally not having a ‘good understanding of their business.’ There has also been negative publicity recently regarding how businesses have been charged increased bank fees compared to personal customers who have fees reduced.

"Roy Morgan Research now releases total satisfaction figures by combining personal and business customer ratings to give a single holistic measure of how customers are viewing their banks. The link between personal and business banking is very strong among the approximately two million micro and small businesses and as a result a single measure of satisfaction is considered a valuable adjunct to the traditional ‘silo’ approach.”

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Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. 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.
Samantha Wilson
P: (03) 9224 5268


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