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The survey of over 50,000 people revealed that the satisfaction level of personal banking customers in April declined by 0.1 percentage points to 82.8 per cent but remains just below the 20-year high of 82.9 per cent.
However, the highest value customers, who represent 62.7 per cent of the total value of personal financial services in the market, recorded the lowest customer satisfaction of all groups at only 79.3 per cent.
Among the big four, Westpac was the most improved, up 2.5 percentage points, followed by ANZ, which was up 0.9 percentage points.
CBA and NAB showed small declines, down 0.4 percentage points and 0.2 percentage points respectively.
According to the report, the total mutual sector outperforms the big four with a 91.7 per cent satisfaction rate for the lowest-value customers and 90.4 per cent among their highest-value customers.
“Banks need to focus on the satisfaction levels of the top quintile customers, which currently rate lower than the overall population and well below the very low-value customers,” Roy Morgan Research industry communications director Norman Morris said.
“The big four banks in particular need to improve satisfaction among this high-value group if they are to match their smaller competitors.”
The report also noted that under half of the big four’s customers in the top value group are likely to recommend their bank.
The best performer was CBA with 45.7 per cent of its customers likely to recommend, followed by NAB with 43.5 per cent, Westpac with 43.0 per cent and ANZ with 42.2 per cent.
In comparison, Teachers Mutual Bank leads the way with 79.7 per cent of their potential high-value customers likely to recommend them, followed by ME with 67.5 per cent, and Bendigo Bank with 64.7 per cent.
“The fact that less than half of the high-value customers of the big four banks can be regarded as being high advocates for their bank is a major issue which needs to be addressed, as it is well below the levels of the smaller banks,” Mr Morris said.
“Unless this is rectified, it is likely to limit the growth potential of the big banks, while their smaller rivals flourish.”