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Non-majors outperform majors in customer satisfaction

A non-major bank has topped the banking sector overall in customer satisfaction, with the big four trailing behind, according to new data.

According to findings taken from Roy Morgan’s recent Customer Satisfaction Report on Consumer Banking in Australia, Beyond Bank Australia scored the highest in October with 92.3 per cent (up 2.4 per cent in 12 months).

Two other non-majors came in second and third place; Newcastle Permanent achieved 90.3 per cent (up 3.6 per cent), while People’s Choice was the highest-ranked credit union, with 88.1 per cent.

Although trailing behind, and down 1.0 per cent from October last year, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) maintained its lead of the four major banks from 2019, with 77.9 per cent of customers saying they were satisfied. 

In second place, National Australia Bank (NAB) followed closely on 77.8 per cent with a 2.7 per cent increase in the last 12 months. 

Westpac was in third place with 75.7 per cent (up 0.8 per cent), followed by Australian and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) with 75.1 per cent (up 0.1 per cent). 

The report stated that the findings reflect the non-majors’ successful adaptability during the COVID-19 crisis, which included responding to financial challenges faced by millions of Australians due to the pandemic.

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The CEO of Roy Morgan, Michele Levine, commented: “Data for these satisfaction ratings was gathered as the government financial assistance that kept millions of Australians afloat in 2020 was being cut back, with JobSeeker payments dropping substantially and JobKeeper wage subsidies also decreasing.

“These are significant financial changes for individuals, and it will be interesting to see how they play out in terms of customer satisfaction with banking providers,” she added.

Michael Lawrence, CEO of the Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA), welcomed the findings, stating: “While customer-owned banking institutions were at the forefront of customer satisfaction prior to 2020, the past year has brought the customer-owned model into sharp focus.”

He noted that COBA’s new Spotlight on Customer Vulnerability report, conducted by Ernst & Young Australia, saw customer-owned banking institutions rate 21 points higher on satisfaction than other banking institutions when responding to customers experiencing vulnerability (97 per cent versus 76 per cent).

Although non-majors are considerably favoured by customers, according to COBA’s new Vulnerability report, the upturn for the big four is still a major win considering the loss of consumer confidence following the banking royal commission.

Indeed, Roy Morgan’s findings in July 2019 found that customer satisfaction was predominantly sitting with non-majors for home loan customers. 

[Related: Big four trail non-majors in home loan satisfaction]

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