Customer owned banks and ING shine in Forbes’ 2021 World’s Best Banks list


Online bank ING and a host of customer owned banks, including Newcastle Permanent and Greater Bank, have placed at the top of the Australian charts in Forbes’ ‘World’s Best Banks’ list for 2021.

Announced last week, this is the third straight year that Forbes has released its rankings of the ‘best’ banking players worldwide, which includes banks in 28 different countries.

In order to determine the rankings Forbes partnered with research firm Statista which surveyed over 43,000 banking customers around the world, gauging sentiment on a number of factors including digital services, financial advice, trust and general satisfaction.

10 best banks in Australia 2021 - Forbes

1. ING
2. Newcastle Permanent
3. Greater Bank
4. Heritage Bank 
5. Beyond Bank
7. Bendigo Bank
8. BankSA
9. Suncorp
10. People’s Choice Credit Union

While ING took out top spot, it was Australia’s member owned banks which really stood out. Newcastle Permanent , Greater Bank, Heritage Bank (top in 2020) and Beyond Bank rounded out the top five, while People’s Choice Credit Union placed in tenth.

According to Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) chief executive, Michael Lawrence, the strong performance of member owned institutions is testament to the point of difference they provide in the market.

“Instead of paying shareholders, our members reinvest profits back into benefits for customers through lower fees, better interest rates and time-saving innovation.”

“These businesses are employers of choice, attracting people who are naturally motivated to support customers, grow relationships, deliver more tailored services, and create a better customer experience.

“COVID-19 has also challenged consumers to rethink their priorities and seek organisations that can be trusted to do the right thing by them – not just when it’s convenient, but in a consistent approach.”

Meanwhile, of the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank ranked eleventh, NAB ranked sixteenth and ANZ placed eighteenth. Westpac didn't appear in the top 20, though Westpac subsidiaries BankSA (8th), Bank of Melbourne (13th) and St.George (17th) all did.

Forbes’ results also closely match those of the 2020 Mozo People’s Choice Awards, which are based on the opinions of Australians on a variety of financial and household service providers.

Bendigo Bank, Greater Bank, ING, Newcastle Permanent and People’s Choice Credit Union were all among the most awarded 2020 winners, while ING was also named Home Lender Bank of the Year in the recent 2021 Mozo Experts Choice Awards for Home Loans.

RELATED: Australia’s best bank accounts

If you’re interested in taking a deeper dive on the distinctions between Australia’s various types of banking players, make sure you check out our handy guide on banks, mutual banks and credit unions.

Compare bank accounts - last updated 9 December 2023

Search promoted bank accounts below or do a full Mozo database search . Advertiser disclosure
  • AMP Cash Manager


    Apple Pay, Google Wallet, Samsung Pay

    0.60% p.a.

    Earn up to 4.80% p.a variable rate with AMP Cash Manager on balances from $10,001 to $250,000. Manage and access your funds while earning interest. No transaction fees to pay. Visa debit card, eftpos, and BPAY facilities. Digital wallet payments with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Pay.

  • Glide Account


    Apple Pay, Google Wallet, PayID, Samsung Pay, FitBit Pay, Garmin

    0% p.a.

    Unlimited free internet transactions. Super fast transfers & use Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. No account keeping fees. Access Any Major Bank & MyState Bank ATM Fee-Free.

  • Wisdom Saver Account


    Apple Pay, Google Wallet, PayID, Samsung Pay, FitBit, Garmin

    0.05% p.a.

    IMB’s Wisdom Saver Account is a high interest transaction account available to members 55 years or over, or members who receive an eligible permanent pension. Enjoy unlimited fee free IMB transactions (T&Cs apply). Great interest rates and at-call access to your money. No monthly account keeping fees. Access to real time payments through Osko. Free Internet, Mobile, and Phone Banking.

  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    Everyday Options


    Apple Pay, Google Wallet, PayID

    0.01% p.a.

    An easy, everyday banking account packed with flexible options to help you spend, budget & save better. $0 monthly account keeping fees & option to add up to 9 sub-accounts.

  • Spend Account


    Apple Pay, Google Wallet, PayID, Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay, Garmin Pay

    0% p.a.

    No monthly fees and no charges for overseas or online payments from ubank. Stay one step ahead with ubank’s spending insights and bill prediction. Apple Pay and Google Pay compatible. Deposits guaranteed up to $250K per customer.


^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Bank Account Awards

Mozo provides general product information. We don't consider your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and we aren't recommending any specific product to you. You should make your own decision after reading the PDS or offer documentation, or seeking independent advice.

While we pride ourselves on covering a wide range of products, we don't cover every product in the market. If you decide to apply for a product through our website, you will be dealing directly with the provider of that product and not with Mozo.