Which banks do Aussies trust? Bendigo Bank and ING lead the way

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Your bank has access to your most important personal information and your money, so being able to trust them is oh-so-important. With trust accounting for 75% of a brand’s reputation, it’s also important that your bank is able to secure your trust.

Roy Morgan’s Financial Services Risk Report and Webinar revealed which financial services providers are the most trusted and distrusted by the Australian public.

Scored based on negative and positive comments in open-ended anonymous surveying to create net trust scores, this report paints our perspective on banks and the banking industry as less than sunny. 

That said, trust is not as simple as data points, and with so many players in the banking field, it’s hard to make a sweeping statement. What we can definitely see are Bendigo Bank and ING pulling ahead of the pack in terms of banks Aussies trust.

How are we feeling about banks?

While Australia’s big 4 banks continue to dominate in terms of market share, their market value has dropped 17% since the Reserve Bank’s 0.5% rate raise in June

According to the Roy Morgan data, general trust in banks has continued to fall since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. Whether this is reflective of a sentiment towards banks or a general sense of financial unrest is impossible to untangle, with the rising cost of living and impacts of inflation.

Still, the speed with which banks have moved on rate increases has fuelled some negative sentiments, especially with these increases passed on much slower to savings accounts. With many customers feeling their budgets tighten or their loan repayments balloon, there is an understandable level of discomfort.

Conversely, the continued move into online banking is largely welcomed by millennial and Gen Z customers. This has had the opposite effect in a more traditional audience. Business and economics journalist Robert Gottliebsen speculates that this movement away from the branches is the main reason for a loss of trust in banks, and why places like Bendigo Bank stand out.

There are places that manage to gain our trust even in an industry we might be approaching with hesitation.

Which financial services do we trust?

As per these findings, the big four banks lag behind when it comes to consumer trust but it should be noted that they have improved since early 2020. NAB in particular has had a notable improvement in their trust scores since 2020 with the external appointment of a new CEO.

Of the rest of the banks, Bendigo Bank and ING come out at the top of this study as Australia’s most trusted banks. Other banks that rank highly for trust include Suncorp, St. George, Bank Australia, ME, Bank of Queensland, People’s Choice, Teachers Mutual Bank, Great Southern Bank, Heritage Bank, BankSA and Bank First.

There’s a lot of overlap between the most trusted banks and our wrap up of ethical bank options, with transparency and authenticity being cited as key to trust. Many of the most trusted banks are also more local options with a greater presence in their states.

Along with banks, other kinds of financial institutions were also scored for consumer trust. 

Paypal was scored highest for net trust of other financial services, owing to its longstanding position in the industry and ubiquity worldwide. Their Pay in 4 option continues to pick up steam, and their trust score remains well above the other Buy Now Pay Later services offered in Australia (Afterpay’s score is completely neutral). 

On the other hand, the average Aussie consumer remains sceptical of cryptocurrency with the most well-known name - Bitcoin - ranking as one of the least trusted names in finance and trending downwards.

The brands we trust often line up with big news stories and what our friends and family are doing, but it’s important to also consider which bank will provide the best experience and give you the best value for your money.

If you’re considering a switch, it might be time to compare how these banks stack up against Mozo’s picks for 2022’s best banking.