Research designed to highlight competition in the banking sector has unveiled a staggering level of customer churn among Australia’s banks.
More than 3 million people, or one in six adults, switched banks over the last three years, according to the Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA) in a submission to the Productivity Commission.
A further 7 per cent had not switched because they believed, or had found, the process of switching overly difficult.
While the submission suggests the level of churn may be due to the increasing ease of switching financial institutions, thanks to “reforms to reduce impediments to switching” by successive governments, the actions and culture of our banks are also likely to have played a considerable part.
One My Business reader recently said they had closed their accounts with ANZ because of the bank’s support for marriage equality, while the CBA underpaying employee superannuation entitlements and other high-profile scandals are likely to have lost it customers.
It may be for this reason that the four major banks, led by CBA, made the surprise announcement over the weekend to abolish the unpopular $2 fee for using the ATMs of other banks.
“Australians have complained for some time about being charged fees for using another bank’s ATM,” CBA’s group executive for retail banking, Matt Comyn, said when announcing the move.
“We have been listening to consumer groups and our customers and understand that there’s a need to make changes that benefit all Australians, no matter who they bank with. This is one of the steps we’re taking to make that happen.”
Have you recently switched banks? What measures could your bank introduce to reduce your temptation to switch? What are banks doing well for business customers, and where are they falling down? Tell us your thoughts below.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.