Heritage Bank chief executive Peter Lock said that the result reaffirmed not just the people-centric approach taken by Heritage, but also the qualities of the customer-owned banking sector.
International analysts J.D. Power has announced the results of their second annual Australia Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, which took place in September and November.
For the second year in a row, Heritage Bank outscored all other banking institutions in the country to top the survey rankings. The next best were People’s Choice, CUA and Bendigo Bank.
The study is based on responses from 4,330 retail banking customers across six categories:
- account activities
- account information
- product offerings
- problem resolution
Heritage scored the highest in four of the six categories: product offerings, facility, account information and account activities.
Mr Lock said that the result reflected Heritage’s mission to deliver a great customer experience every time.
“As a customer-owned bank, our focus is on placing our customer’s interests at the heart of everything we do,” Mr Lock said.
“It’s extremely rewarding to receive recognition from such an internationally recognised independent third-party that reflects the views of those people who really matter in the end — our customers.
“Topping the customer satisfaction score is an endorsement of the focus we place on our vision of being passionate about helping people, and on our mission of delivering a great customer experience every time.
“I’m very proud that we’ve been recognised as Australia’s leader in customer satisfaction in the banking sector.
“J.D. Power is readily recognised through North America and Europe for their independent research. Our win last year was well received in these markets during our recent investor roadshows.
“Winning for the second year in a row proves our ‘people first’ philosophy makes a difference. It’s a very prestigious award.”
Mr Lock added that the survey result also reinforced calls for the customer-owned banking sector to be treated differently to the big banks in the recently announced Royal Commission into banking activities in Australia.
“The top three performers in the survey were all customer-owned financial institutions. The big banks all ranked 10th and below,” Mr Lock said.
“Customer-owned institutions such as Heritage provide fantastic services to their members, who show their satisfaction with the high ratings we receive in these surveys.
“Calls for a Royal Commission have been prompted by alleged poor behavior within the shareholder-owned banking sector, not the customer-owned sector.
“We’re driven by a different ethos and our focus sits much more clearly on the best interests of our customers, not on generating a financial return to shareholders.
“That’s why our customer-satisfaction ratings are higher. That’s also why the Royal Commission should take into account that we are different and that we have not been responsible for the excesses that prompted the inquiry in the first place.”
The Australia Retail Banking Satisfaction Study is part of a series of national satisfaction surveys J.D. Power conducts across North America and Asia.