The satisfaction level of the personal customers of banks reached 81.5% in December, a marginal increase from 81.3% in November, and the highest level in the 18 years of this survey. The Big Four banks scored 80.1% satisfaction, an increase of 0.2% from November. The major reason for the Big Four’s improvement over the last 12 months (+1.7% points) has been the interest rate reductions for home loan customers, who have increased their satisfaction rate by 5.9% points compared to a decline of 0.9% points for term deposit customers. 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 December 2013, the CBA maintained its top ranking of the Big Four with 81.8% satisfaction, followed by NAB (80.0%), Westpac (78.8%) and ANZ (77.7%).
The biggest improver over the last month was the NAB (up 0.6% points), followed by the ANZ (up 0.5% points). Westpac (down 0.2% points) and CBA (down 0.1% points) showed small declines.
Consumer Banking Satisfaction
Source: Roy Morgan Research Consumer Banking Satisfaction Report, December 2013; Average 6 monthly sample for Big Four banks (n = 18,370).
Over the last 12 months the CBA showed the largest improvement in satisfaction (up 2.1% points) followed by Westpac (up 2.0% points), ANZ (up 1.7% points) and the NAB (up 0.2% points). All four of the major banks showed the greatest improvement among their home loan customers, with the ANZ leading (up 8.9% points), followed by Westpac (up 8.8% points), CBA (up 3.9% points) and the NAB (up 2.5% points).
The following chart shows the strong gains made in satisfaction over the last 12 months by the four major banks’ home loan customers relative to their term deposit customers. Only the CBA showed an improvement in term deposit customer satisfaction over the last 12 months (up 1.7% points).
Satisfaction of Mortgage and Term Deposit Customers
Source: Roy Morgan Research; July 2012 - December 2012; 6 month sample for Big Four banks n = 17, 561.
Source: Roy Morgan Research, July 2013 - December 2013; 6 month sample for Big Four banks n = 16,537. NB: These customer groups are not mutually exclusive
While the main driver of the improvement in customer satisfaction among the Big Four over the last 12 months has been the reduction in home loan interest rates, the increased use of internet banking is also contributing.
Internet banking is now used by 58.7% of banking customers in an average four week period compared to only 33.9% using branches. Combined with the high satisfaction level with internet banking it is obviously contributing to an overall upward trend in bank customer satisfaction.
Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“The eight interest rate reductions in home loans over the last two years are continuing to have a very positive impact on the satisfaction of home loan customers, but the term deposit customers who provide a large part of the loan funding are becoming less satisfied.
“With term deposit rates now generally below 4% and many people such as retirees relying on them for income, it is understandable that they are beginning to show a drop in satisfaction with their bank. It will be important therefore when interest rates eventually rise that this group receive the full increase just as home loan customers expect to receive the full reductions when the cash rate declines.
“Even though both term deposit and home loan customers are not likely to blame banks for movement in the cash rate by the RBA, they have voiced much dissatisfaction in the past if they consider they haven’t got a fair deal from their bank when moves occur.
“We have seen this in the past with home loan customers where customer satisfaction has been impacted adversely for a considerable time following what they consider as unfair movements in home loan rates compared to the changes in the official cash rate.
“This analysis shows that the performance of a bank at the channel level, together with fees, interest rate movements, customer service and product offerings all make a major contribution to overall customer satisfaction.”
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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.