A ranking of customer satisfaction with banks operating in Australia has revealed a widening gulf between the big four and the others, and identified where customers are most happy with the service they receive.
Based on a 1,000-point scale, ING was ranked as the most popular bank by 4,730 customers in the 2018 Australia Retail Banking Satisfaction Study.
Now in its third year, and conducted by market research firm J.D. Power, the survey asks respondents to rank their bank on six criteria:
- Account activities
- Product offering
- Account information
- Problem resolution
ING achieved an overall score of 864, having claimed the top spot in four of the six survey categories.
In second spot was Greater Bank, with a score of 829, followed by Heritage Bank (818), People’s Choice Credit Union (816) and CUA (794). Westpac was the highest rated of the big four banks, with a score of 731.
The full rankings can be found below.
Overall, the four major banks performed markedly worse than their non-major counterparts, with average scores between the two types coming in at 727 compared with 776.
A major concern, according to the findings, came down to transparency: 35 per cent of major bank customers and almost a quarter (24 per cent) of non-major customers said that they had not received clear information on products, including fees charged to their account.
Among the areas customers want the most improvement from their banking institution are:
- Prompt responses and follow-up information: 74 per cent of respondents said that they did not receive any follow-up communication on products or services offered to them.
- A personal touch: close to half (45 per cent) were not pleased at their overall experience when attempting to resolve a problem by phone.
- Greater transparency on digital offerings: 48 per cent do not fully understand the mobile banking options available to them.
Such improvements would go a long way to building trust, and in turn loyalty, from banking customers, said J.D. Power’s Anthony Chiam.
“Traditionally, the bank-customer relationship is built on trust. When trust is compromised, customers may bank elsewhere, particularly when alternative providers are so readily available,” Mr Chiam said.
“Over time, as customers weigh their options, this will undoubtedly have a financial impact on banks. To compete in this new climate, banks need to go back to basics through both traditional and digital channel interactions, which will provide a more customer-centric experience and build brand loyalty.”
In September, J.D. Power released a similar ranking of the most popular Australian credit cards.
Interestingly, Bankwest performed much better in that survey, ranking third of 15 providers, while NAB topped the big four banks’ credit card offerings.
Overall bank satisfaction ranking
- ING – 864
- Greater Bank – 829
- Heritage Bank – 818
- People’s Choice Credit Union – 816
- CUA – 794
- ME Bank – 785
- Bendigo Bank – 780
- Average score for non-major financial institutions – 776
- BankSA – 764
- St.George Bank – 760
- Bank of Melbourne – 756
- Suncorp Bank – 752
- Bank of Queensland (BOQ) – 743
- HSBC – 739
- Westpac – 731
- Commonwealth Bank – 728
- ANZ – 728
- Average score for major banks – 727
- Bankwest – 725
- NAB – 721
Source: J.D. Power's 2018 Australia Retail Banking Satisfaction Study
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.