Small banks all SMILES

Small banks have outshined their bigger competitors in the Smart Investor League of Exceptional Service (SMILES) tables for this year.

And in at the top scooping the best financial service provider award was Bendigo Bank, which was praised for its personable branch staff and its focus on customer service.

Russell Jenkins, chief general manager of retail customers at the bank account provider, told AFR Smart Investor that it has always been committed to listening to its customers’ needs.

Commenting on the decision to introduce fees more than a decade ago, he said that he was mobbed by irate customers when he went on his lunch break because they all knew who he was.

“It sounds simplistic but I got this instant feedback. If you’re living and working among – and listening to – your customers, then you respond to their needs rather than dictate terms to them,” he said.

In last year’s awards, credit union mecu was recognised for its commitment to providing customers with cheap credit cards, with its 8.49 per cent offer deemed to be the best in the country.ADNFCR-1761-ID-18930478-ADNFCR