NAB customer satisfaction rating reaches record high but home loan customers not any happier: Roy Morgan

NAB’s customer satisfaction rating lifted 0.7 percentage points to 80.3% in September to reach the highest score for a big four bank since Roy Morgan began researching customer attitudes to the banks in 1996.

The bank’s customer satisfaction rating has improved by 3.8 percentage points over the past 12 months to be the “clear market leader” among the big four banks.

However, NAB’s rating is due to the satisfaction of its non-home loan customers ( up 5.2 percentage points over the past 12 months), whereas its home loan customers had a decline in satisfaction of 1.4 percentage points over the same period – despite NAB maintaining its promise of offering the lowest standard variable rate of the major banks.

All the major banks improved their ratings over September as customer satisfaction with the banking sector as a whole improved for the third consecutive month to 79.4%.

Despite the positive trend shown by the big four banks, they still lag far behind the satisfaction levels of their smaller rivals, with an average satisfaction rating of 77.3% compared with 84.1%.

The best performers among the smaller banks were bankmecu (93.7%), Heritage Bank (90.7%), BankSA (88.7%) and Bendigo Bank (87.6%).

Over September, the Commonwealth Bank matched NAB with a 0.7 percentage point increase to 78.5%.

Westpac recorded the biggest monthly increase of 1 percentage point to reach 75.7% to rank third of the big four, with ANZ improving by 0.5 percentage points to a satisfaction rating of 74%.

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Roy Morgan says the improvement in Westpac’s customer satisfaction rating was mainly due to an improvement in September in satisfaction among its home loan customers.

Home loan customers still remain less satisfied across all of the major banks compared with non-home loan customers, presumably due to the banks' policy of not passing on full rate cuts.

“Recent reductions in home loan rates should improve satisfaction levels among borrowers but this can also be impacted by any negative perceptions if the full rate drop is not being passed on,” notes Roy Morgan.

“Continued improvement in bank customers’ perception will depend largely on the big four avoiding any further negative publicity, as we have seen that Westpac, the CBA and most recently ANZ have all suffered major setbacks in customer satisfaction following negative market announcements,” says Norman Morris, industry communications director at Roy Morgan Research.

“The big four have arguably set their satisfaction target a little low by focusing almost exclusively on how they rank against each other rather than against their smaller competitors who are perceived as performing much better in terms of customer satisfaction and have considerable combined market strength.”

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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