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Customers most satisfied with non-majors

New research has revealed that customer satisfaction is highest for non-major banks, with the big four all scoring below-average results.

According to Roy Morgan’s Banking Channel Usage and Satisfaction report, which involved a single source survey of 50,000 consumers, customer satisfaction with the banks in the six months ending in March 2018 dropped marginally to 80.9 per cent, down from 81.0 per cent in February 2018.

The research revealed that customers were most satisfied with non-major lenders, which ranked in the top five of the 10 largest banks, while the majors ranked in the bottom end of the list.

Bendigo Bank topped the list, with a customer satisfaction rating of 87.5 per cent, followed by ING (87.1 per cent), St. George and Bankwest (tied with 84.6 per cent), and Bank of Queensland (83.1 per cent).

Suncorp was the only non-major on the list to fall below the average of 80.9 per cent and to score a lower customer satisfaction rating than a major bank (79.0 per cent).

“Over more than 12 consecutive months, Bendigo Bank has had the highest percentage of satisfied customers, currently sitting at 87.5 per cent,” Roy Morgan’s industry communications director, Norman Morris, observed.

Reflecting on Bendigo Bank’s rating, managing director Mike Hirst said: “The significance of these reports cannot be underestimated. They are important because the satisfaction level is being rated by our customers.”

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Mr Hirst continued: “Our staff embrace our customer and community values and have a culture of always trying to do the right thing by our customers, which goes to the core of our vision of being Australia’s most customer-connected bank.”

Commonwealth Bank (CBA), which placed sixth on the list, scored the highest customer satisfaction rating of the big four (79.7 per cent), followed by NAB and ANZ (78.7 per cent), and Westpac 77.7 per cent.

Bankwest’s customer satisfaction score experienced the largest increase when compared to its February rating (up by 0.9 per cent), while Suncorp’s score experienced the sharpest fall (by 1.4 per cent).

Mr Morris also noted an improvement in the banks’ satisfaction ratings when compared to previous decades, saying: “Despite a small decline in satisfaction with banks over the last month, their customers now have much higher satisfaction levels than they have averaged over the last two decades.

“This highlights the importance of measuring long-term trends, as we have seen on many occasions that short-term fluctuations are often misleading in understanding the bigger picture.” 

“Banking landscape is changing”

The same Roy Morgan survey also asked respondents about their preferred banking channel.

The survey revealed that ATMs remain customers’ preferred banking channel (83.4 per cent), despite a 0.8 per cent drop from the previous year. 

Internet banking usage placed second (54.2 per cent), despite also reporting a decline of 2 per cent.

More respondents noted their usage of mobile banking, up by 3.2 per cent, from 43.4 per cent to 46.5 per cent.

Placing fourth, the propriety channel also reduced in popularity, falling by 3.5 per cent, from 48.6 per cent to 45.1 per cent. 

Banking via the phone also grew in popularity, rising by 1.6 per cent over the past 12 months, from 22.5 per cent to 24.1 per cent. 

The research also indicated that fewer customers are banking through financial advisers and planners (14.5 per cent), declining by 0.1 per cent from 14.6 per cent. 

“Our research continues to show that mobile banking has the potential to be the leading banking method, with an outlook to surpass internet banking, which saw a decline over the last 12 months,” Mr Morris added. 

“With growing consumer trends towards frictionless mobile banking, where payments can be made and received to a mobile device, shopping online and in store can be used with a mobile, and even be used in lieu of a debit card to withdraw cash at an ATM, it’s no surprise the relationship with banking satisfaction can relate heavily to the services banks provide to their mobile banking.”

[Related: Bank names new group executive]

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