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.

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