Aussies are more satisfied by mutual banks over major banks, says report

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Aussies are more satisfied by mutual banks than major banks, according to a new report from Roy Morgan. 

The report says that building societies (94% of customers “satisfied”) and credit unions (90.9% “satisfied”) saw customer satisfaction increase over the past six months. Meanwhile, major banks only saw 77.4% of their customers satisfied. 

The Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) says this is no surprise, and it’s a key component that differentiates customer-owned banks from big banks.

COBA’s chief executive officer, Michael Lawrence, says “These results show that customer-owned banks are well ahead of the pack when it comes to customer satisfaction.”

“They deliver leading products, competitive rates, and services with a personal touch – this is why the significant majority of more than five million Australians who bank with a member-owned institution are beyond happy with their choice.”

The financial institutions with the most satisfied customers included Teachers Mutual Bank, Heritage Bank, Beyond Bank Australia and Greater Bank, as per the findings. 

While a significant number of Aussies look at mutual banks favourably at present, it’s important to remember that any customer satisfaction report represents how people feel at a point in time. Satisfaction could fluctuate based on economic events like inflation, high cost of living and RBA rate hikes.

What makes a mutual bank different from a major bank?

Typically a mutual bank (or customer-owned bank) is considered a customer service centric banking alternative to big banks. 

A major difference between the financial institutions is that a mutual bank is owned by its customers or a board of directors. On the other hand, major banks are owned by private investors and stockholders. 

The customer-owned model is also unique because members are part of the fabric of local communities across the country, says Lawrence. 

“Many (are) rural and regional based, and they continue to support these communities through grants to local charities, sporting clubs, and community organisations,” he says.

Aside from that, mutual banks offer similar services as a bank, including deposit accounts such as bank accounts, loans and insurance. 

Check out Mozo’s banking guides to learn more about mutual banks.