The group’s Single Source survey revealed that the overall customer satisfaction rate of the big four banks, in the six months to July 2015, was 81.3 per cent, up 0.8 percentage points from the previous year.
However, despite the improvement, the non-majors retained a marginal lead and recorded 86 per cent satisfaction in July 2015, up 0.5 percentage points from the previous year.
“The decline in home loan rates, and the flexibility now offered by the major banks in regards to how customers can deal with them (ie. channel selection) have been major contributors to overall satisfaction gains across the banking sector,” Roy Morgan Research industry communications director Norman Morris said.
“The banks outside of the big four have retained their lead in satisfaction, which they have held for more than a decade, and although the gap has closed to some extent, they still retain a considerable lead over their larger competitors.”
Among the big four, CBA was ranked the highest by customers with an overall satisfaction rate of 82.3 per cent.
This was followed closely by NAB at 82.2 per cent, Westpac at 80.1 per cent and ANZ at 79.5 per cent.
Outside of the big four, Teachers Mutual Bank remained the best-performing bank overall with 95.1 per cent of its customers satisfied.
Meanwhile, among the 10 major home loan banks ING Direct took out the highest satisfaction rate with 93.2 per cent, followed by ME Bank at 90.9 per cent and Bendigo Bank at 89.3 per cent.
“The big four banks generally compare their satisfaction levels with each other, and yet it is generally the smaller banks that set the standard for both overall satisfaction and the very important home loan segment,” Mr Morris said.
“In a period where home loan rates have been declining, it is still somewhat surprising that home loan customer satisfaction across banks overall remains below that of other customers – particularly considering that many non-home-loan customers are being adversely impacted by low deposit rates.
“A number of smaller banks have shown however that it is possible for their home loan customers to be more satisfied than their other customers. As such, they are setting the standard for others to follow in the highly competitive home loan market.”