CBA customers still smarting over Melbourne Cup rate rise

If the Commonwealth Bank thought no one would notice it raising interest rates on Melbourne Cup Day last year, a new survey has given it a harsh reality check.

Almost a year on borrowers continue to vent their anger, rating the bank the worst home loan provider out of over 200 providers, following a survey of 23,000 Australians by finance comparison and reviews site Mozo.

The decision to push up rates by 0.45% (almost double the official RBA increase of 0.25%) as the nation stopped to watch the famous rate was described at the time by federal Treasurer Wayne Swan as “cynical”.

Commonwealth Bank customers surveyed by Mozo gave the bank a dismal home loans rating of 5.9 out of 10, down from 6.7 in 2010.

The major banks topped the list of worst home loan provider with CBA followed Westpac (6.2/10) and NAB (6.4/10).

The CBA’s overall satisfaction rating fell to 6.8 below that of bitter rival NAB, which improved from 6.9 to 7.1, the best of the major banks.

The Mozo survey is likely to prickle the nose of incoming CBA chief executive Ian Narev, who takes over the reins from Ralph Norris on December 1.

Last year Norris lost $7 million in pay after the CBA dropped to the bottom of the benchmark Roy Morgan customer satisfaction ratings.  

The Greater Building Society, which yesterday cut its fixed mortgage rates, and ME Bank were voted best home loan provider and runner-up respectively, with the two providers trading places on last year’s inaugural standings.

Customers praised both institutions for choosing not to raise home loan rates above last November’s official cash rate increase, awarding home loan ratings of 9.4 and 8.8 out of 10 respectively.

ING Direct was voted Australia’s Best Bank for the second year running for its consistently competitive online savings, everyday banking and mortgage products. Australia’s favourite bank also picked up Best Bank Accounts and Most Trusted Bank awards.

Australia’s mutual societies increased their average overall satisfaction rating from 8.1 in 2010 to 8.2 in 2011 against a backdrop of declining satisfaction in banking providers overall. Customers rated mutual societies better than the banks on the key measures of service, trust, price and features, and equal to the Big 4 for convenience.

Rohan Gamble, managing director of mozo.com.au, says customer satisfaction is driven by actions not marketing.

“The NAB’s axing of penalty fees, ING Direct’s consistently competitive interest rates and the Greater’s commitment to people before profits have made them the big winners in customer satisfaction.”

 

Australia’s Best Banking Providers                        Australia’s Worst Banking Providers

1. Greater Building Society                  9.2                      1. GE Money                   4.3

2. Victoria Teachers Credit Union    9.1                      2. Citibank                       4.4

3. ING Direct                                              8.9                      3. Homeside                    4.8

4. Police Credit                                          8.7                     4. American Express      5.6

5. QANTAS Staff Credit Union            8.6                      5. Aussie                          6.2

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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