Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013
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 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.
Shaun Ellis
P: 03 9224 5332


big four, westpac, anz, nab, commonwealth, banking, finance, roy morgan research




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