The satisfaction level of the personal customers of banks reached 82.0% in April, a marginal increase from 81.8% in March, but enough to achieve its highest level in the 18 years since this survey began. The Big Four banks’ personal customers scored 80.7% satisfaction, well above the satisfaction level of their business customers (65.8%). These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Research Consumer Single Source survey of over 50,000 people per annum and Business Single Source survey of more than 13,000 business finance decision makers per annum.
Business customers less satisfied
In the six months to April 2014, the CBA shows the highest satisfaction level for personal banking customers with 82.6% and Westpac has the highest satisfaction among business customers with 68.7%.
All four major banks show much lower levels of satisfaction for their business customers compared to their personal customers. The biggest gap is for NAB, where business customers are 17.4% points behind its personal customers, while Westpac has the smallest gap with its business customers 9.9% behind.
Business and Consumer Banking Satisfaction: Big Four Banks
Source: Roy Morgan Research Consumer Single Source, November 2013-April 2014, Big Four Banks n=17,203; Roy Morgan Research Business Single Source, November 2013-April 2014, n=4,807
Personal customer satisfaction at record high
In the six months to April 2014, the CBA maintained its leading position among the Big Four with 82.6% satisfaction, followed by NAB (81.2%), Westpac (78.6%) and ANZ (78.2%). The biggest improver among the major banks over the last month was NAB (up 0.7% points), followed by the ANZ (up 0.6% points), CBA (up 0.3% points) and Westpac (up 0.2%).
Consumer Banking Satisfaction
Source: Roy Morgan Research Consumer Banking Satisfaction Report, April 2014; Average 6 monthly sample for Big Four banks (n = 18,302).
Over the last 12 months the CBA showed the largest improvement in satisfaction (up 2.1% points) followed by Westpac and NAB (both up 1.9% points) and the ANZ (up 0.6% points). The ANZ, CBA and Westpac showed improved satisfaction largely as a result of their home loan customers increasing their satisfaction on the back of the reductions in home loan rates. Westpac home loan customers showed the biggest improvement (up 4.7% points) over the last 12 months, followed by ANZ and CBA (both up 3.6% points). The NAB’s home loan customers showed a decline in home loan customer satisfaction over the last 12 months (down 1.1% points). All four of the major banks still have lower satisfaction levels among their mortgage customers compared to their non-mortgage customers.
Business customers show some improvement
While consumer banking satisfaction for the big four has continued to increase over the last year (up 1.8% points), business customer satisfaction has improved marginally more (up 2.1% points). In the six months to April 2014, Westpac maintained its lead in Business Customer Satisfaction over the other Big Four with 68.7% satisfaction, followed by CBA and ANZ (both on 65.5%), and NAB (63.8%). ANZ was clearly the biggest improver over the last 12 months (up 6.0% points), followed by Westpac (up 1.8% points), CBA (up 0.8% points) and NAB (0.2% points).
Business Banking Satisfaction
Source: Roy Morgan Research Business Banking Satisfaction Report, April 2014; Average 6 monthly sample for Big Four banks (n = 4,720).
Business satisfaction with major products low
Businesses are showing very low satisfaction levels for Transaction/Deposit Accounts, Loans and Relationship Managers/Business Bankers, which is obviously having an impact on the low overall satisfaction levels seen. Westpac has the highest satisfaction level of the Big Four for the three areas shown, in line with its top ranking seen earlier. The NAB scores lowest for Accounts and Relationship Managers, while CBA comes in last for satisfaction with Loans.
Business Satisfaction with Accounts, Loans and Relationship Managers
Source: Roy Morgan Research Business Single Source, November 2013-April 2014, n=4,807
Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“Satisfaction among banks’ personal customers is at record high levels and is obviously the result of a concerted effort since 2001 when they were at their lowest point. Although this improvement has been seen consistently over a long period, more recent improvements have had a lot to do with low interest rates on home loans and high satisfaction levels and preference for internet banking. For a number of years it appears that banks have had a preference for the relative safety of personal customers and as a result their business customers are being left behind as evidenced by the wide gap in customer satisfaction ratings.
“Recent moves by the major banks to show an increased focus on the business customers obviously stems from a realisation that something needs to be done to attract and retain them to compensate for the reduced prospects for growth in the personal market. Banks currently appear to lack empathy with their business customers who require more attention and understanding. This is evidenced by the fact that these customers rate their banks very poorly on ‘maintaining regular contact’, ‘following developments in the industry’ and having a ‘good understanding of their business’. Banks recognise the need for personal contact with their business customers, and use business managers to manage the relationship with their clients, but at this stage the satisfaction level with these managers is less than seventy percent for each of the four major banks. This is an area that obviously needs some improvement if overall satisfaction is to increase.
“The relatively low satisfaction among business customers is likely to be impacting negatively on personal customer satisfaction as there is a strong link between the bank used for business and the personal bank for Australia’s two million micro and small business owners.
“The current Financial System Inquiry will need to consider how well the needs of business are being met by the banks in order to ensure that they remain viable and contribute to economic growth. At the present time it appears that there is room for improvement.”
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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