Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013 - Roy Morgan Research
The satisfaction level of the personal customers of the Big Four banks reached 79.7% in September, unchanged from August and equivalent to the highest level reached in the 18 years of this survey.  The two major banks that improved in September were the CBA (up 0.3% points) and Westpac (up 0.3% points).  The NAB (down 0.2% points) and ANZ (down 0.1% points) showed small declines.  These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Research Consumer Single Source survey of over 50,000 people per annum.

In the six months to September 2013 the CBA maintained its top ranking of the Big Four with 81.4% satisfaction, followed by Westpac (79.0%), NAB (78.9%) and ANZ (77.9%).

The rankings were considerably different 12 months ago (September 2012) when the NAB was the clear leader on 80.3%, followed by the CBA (78.5%), Westpac (75.7%) and the ANZ (74.0%). 

Consumer Banking Satisfaction

 Roy Morgan Research Consumer Banking Satisfaction Report, September 2013; Average 6 monthly sample for Big Four banks (n = 18, 407).

Over the last 12 months the NAB was the only major bank to show a decline in satisfaction (down 1.4% points) compared to the ANZ (up 3.9% points), Westpac (up 3.3% points) and the CBA (up 2.9% points).  The three banks that showed improved satisfaction was largely as a result of their home loan customers increasing their satisfaction on the back of the reductions in home loan rates.  The NAB home loan customers did not show the same improved satisfaction (up 0.4% points) compared to the ANZ (up 8.6% points), the CBA (up 6.4% points) and Westpac (up 6.3% points).

In addition to this, the NAB was the only one of the Big Four to show a drop in the satisfaction of their non-home loan customers over the last 12 months. 

Although most of the attention in the satisfaction scores is focused on the four majors it is worth noting that it is still the smaller banks that set the standard, particularly the new Mutual Banks such as Teacher’s Mutual Bank (92.6%) and Victoria Teaches Mutual Bank (97.1%).  Other banks to perform well were ME Bank (90.5%), Bank of Melbourne (89.2%) and ING Direct (89.0%).

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

“With most banks scoring historically high levels of customer satisfaction it is now worth looking at the link between satisfaction and business outcomes.

“Additional analysis done on the satisfaction data shows that instead of combining the ‘very satisfied’ and ‘fairly satisfied’ ratings, as we have done historically, we looked at the ‘very satisfied’ group. It is this group that has a much higher correlation with outcomes such as higher customer retention, customer advocacy, share of wallet and share of products.

“Currently only around one third of the major banks customers fall into this ‘very satisfied’ group, so that it should be increasingly the focus to switch a higher proportion of customers into this top group if the aim is to attract and retain business.  Of the major banks, the CBA has the highest proportion of customers in the ‘very satisfied’ group with 35%.

“The expanded Roy Morgan data now also looks at how customers rate the performance of branches and online channels and how this impacts on their overall satisfaction score.

“An example of this impact is that for each of the Big Four banks’ customers who use a branch and rate the performance of that branch as ‘very satisfied’ their overall satisfaction for that bank goes to over 90%, instead of the 80% level that most are scoring at the present time.  The same impact is seen with those who use the internet; i.e. their overall satisfaction score goes to around 90%.

“This analysis shows that if greater attention is given to satisfying customers at all points of contact, there is a much greater likelihood of raising the level of satisfaction and increasing business.”

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Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.
Alex Dalidakis
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