The satisfaction level of the personal customers of banks was 81.6% in February, no change since January, but enough to equal the highest level in the 18 years of this survey. The Big Four banks scored 80.1% satisfaction, and the other banks scored 84.8%. The major reason for the Big Four’s improvement over the last 12 months (+1.3% points) has been the interest rate reductions for their home loan customers, who have increased their satisfaction rating by 3.5% points compared to an increase of only 0.8% points for their other 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 February 2014, the CBA maintained its top ranking of the Big Four with 82.1% satisfaction, followed by NAB (80.3%), Westpac (78.0%) and ANZ (77.9%). The smaller banks, however, remained the clear overall pace-setters with 14 banks scoring higher than the best of the big four, the leader being Teachers Mutual Bank on 91.2%.
Over the last month, the CBA, NAB and ANZ satisfaction ratings remained unchanged, and Westpac showed a small decline (down 0.5% points).
Consumer Banking Satisfaction
Source: Roy Morgan Research Consumer Banking Satisfaction Report, February 2014; Average 6 monthly sample for Big Four banks (n = 18,333).
Over the last 12 months the ANZ and CBA showed the largest improvement in satisfaction (both up 1.7% points) followed by NAB (up 1.1% points) and Westpac (up 0.3% points). Overall, the big four banks increased their satisfaction rating by 1.3% points, with their home loan customers being the main driver of this improvement (up 3.5% points).
The following chart shows the strong gains made in satisfaction over the last 12 months by the home loan customers of the ANZ, CBA and Westpac relative to their non-home loan customers. In the case of NAB, their non-home loan customers had the biggest gains in satisfaction.
Satisfaction of Mortgage and Non-Mortgage Customers
Source: Roy Morgan Research; Sep 2012 - Feb 2013; 6 month sample for Big Four banks n = 18,228.
Source: Roy Morgan Research, Sep 2013 - Feb 2014; 6 month sample for Big Four banks n = 17, 639.
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 far more customers than branches and with a higher level of satisfaction, it is obviously contributing to gains in overall customer satisfaction. The CBA has the highest level of satisfaction among their customers who use internet banking (92.5%) and branch banking (89.4%).
Satisfaction with Internet and Branch Banking
Source: Roy Morgan Research; Sep 2013 - Feb 2014; 6 month sample for Big Four banks n = 17,639.
Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“The home loan interest rate reductions over the last two years have been driving big improvements in customer satisfaction but with no change in rates since August 2013, it appears that the impact of these reductions is wearing off with satisfaction among home loan customers of the big four banks declining in January and February this year. The majority of bank customers do not have a home loan and will be looking for improvements in areas such as fees, service, products and higher interest rates. 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.
“The increased use of internet banking has also contributed to increased satisfaction overall because customer satisfaction with this channel now exceeds their satisfaction with branches for each of the big four banks. The challenge here will be to raise the satisfaction level of other channels such as branches and phone banking which remain the preferred method for many customers when dealing with their bank.
“A potential major drag on improving customer satisfaction among consumers is the fact that the satisfaction among micro businesses with their banks continues to lag well behind personal consumers. Satisfaction among micro businesses with the big four banks is currently only 64.5%, well below the 80.1% level of personal consumers. With two million of these businesses with close links to their personal banking, a low satisfaction score for their business bank is likely to have a negative impact on their personal banking satisfaction rating.”
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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.
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