CommBank scores biggest improvement in customer satisfaction out of big four banks
Article by Kelly Emmerton
Customer satisfaction with three of the big four banks is on the rise, with CommBank showing the largest improvement of 0.7%, putting its satisfaction level at 82.4%, according to new research from Roy Morgan.
In December last year, the big four banks improved customer satisfaction by 0.5% in total, with CommBank taking the lead, followed closely by Westpac with a 0.6% increase and ANZ up by 0.5%. While NAB was the only big four bank to see a decline in customer satisfaction of 0.2%, it still sits in second place with an overall customer rating of 80.2%.
Satisfaction with banks in general is close to historically high levels, having increased to 82.4% in December 2015, up from 79.3% in December 2011.
The improvement with the big four was due to a 0.6% rise in satisfaction from home loan customers (to 78.8%) and a 0.5% rise among other customers (81.4%).
Industry Communications Director at Roy Morgan Research, Norman Morris, attributed the increase to the effect of October's home loan rate hike wearing off, saying, “The home-loan rate increase by the big four banks in October adversely impacted their home-loan customer satisfaction in October and November, but appears to be showing some improvement in December.”
Despite the improvements, however, satisfaction with the big four banks continues to trail behind that of the mutual sector, which includes building societies, credit unions and customer owned banks. Customer satisfaction for mutual banks remained unchanged in December, but still came out on top with a significantly high 91.2% rating.
And it’s no wonder, considering that Mozo’s database shows the average big four variable home loan rate is 5.03%, compared to the average mutual bank rate of 4.75%. Our home loan comparison calculator shows on a $500,000 home loan over 25 years, choosing a mutual bank could save you up to $24,333 in interest over the life of the loan.
Tips for finding a competitive home loan
Be realistic about what you can borrow. Sit down and crunch the numbers, or check out our borrowing calculator, and work out how much a provider is likely to lend you. After that, think realistically about what kind of repayments you can afford to make. Based on that, you can choose a loan amount that won’t leave you on a shoestring budget.
Save up a deposit. Many home loans providers will let you borrow up to 95% of the property value, but we recommend saving 20% for a deposit if you’re able to. The bigger deposit the smaller the loan, and the more manageable repayments will be. Plus, a deposit over 20% will mean you won’t have to shell out for lenders mortgage insurance.
Check out first home owner’s grants. A great way to shave down the price of your first home is by applying for a grant, which will usually provide a lump sum payment (generally if you’re purchasing a new property), plus exempt you from hefty fees like stamp duty.
Decide which type of home loan is right for you. Are you looking at a fixed interest rate, or variable? How about a little of both. Each have their pros and cons, so make sure you consider which one is right for you before going ahead.
Compare the options. Don’t just choose the first home loan you come across. It’s well worth your time to shop around and find the best deal, that will not only save you money, but allow you to pay off your home loan in a way that suits your lifestyle and budget. Check out our home loans comparison table to get started.