Roy Morgan: Bank satisfaction hits 7 year low, but there’s a catch

Tom Watson   |   29 Nov 2018

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Unless you’ve been out of the country with your fingers in your ears since public hearings began in February, you would have found it difficult to avoid at least some of the trials and tribulations surrounding the Banking Royal Commission.

Many of Australia’s largest banks and financial institutions, including ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB, Westpac and AMP, have copped a grilling from counsel, commissioner and politicians alike, and according to new analysis from Roy Morgan, that may have resulted in a  hit to their customer satisfaction levels.

The research published last week by Roy Morgan revealed that customer satisfaction with Australian banks has declined by 3.2% since January 2018, with satisfaction levels now at their lowest point in seven years.  

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But while the newest findings won’t make happy reading for the banks, there’s still a silver lining according to Roy Morgan’s Industry Communications Director, Norman Morris.

“Given the high volume of negative publicity relating to the big four banks that continues to be generated by the Royal Commission, it is not surprising that customer satisfaction with them has shown greater declines than for other banks this year. This has resulted in satisfaction with banks overall currently being at their lowest level since 2011,” he said.

“What needs to be noted however, is that contrary to all the negative reporting on banks, the clear majority of their customers remain satisfied with them and only around 6% claim to be dissatisfied.”

In fact, the current 78% satisfaction level with Australian banks still remains higher than Roy Morgan’s long-term average and is far above the 58.7% satisfaction level recorded in 2001.

Customers more satisfied outside the big four

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the heavy scrutiny they’ve been under throughout the Royal Commission proceedings, Roy Morgan found that the big four banks have taken the greatest hit to their satisfaction levels.  

ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac had a combined satisfaction rating of 79.2% in January 2018 - just a month prior to the start of the Commission’s public hearings. Since then, that figure has dropped by 4.2% to a satisfaction level of 75%.

Despite a 1% fall in satisfaction over the same period, other banks have continued to fare better than their big four counterparts with a current overall customer satisfaction rating of 83.9%.

When it came to the banks with the most satisfied customers Roy Morgan drilled down and found that ING (94.8%) and Bendigo Bank (89.7%) had the happiest home loan customers among the the ten largest banks.

The figures match up with the results of the 2018 Mozo People’s Choice Awards for Banking, with both ING and Bendigo Bank among the most decorated award winners for satisfied customers.    

RELATED: Mozo’s People’s Choice Awards reveal what Aussies really think about their banks

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