The financial stability of Australians took a hit during the global financial crisis and has not returned to pre-GFC levels, a recent survey has revealed.

The percentage of Australians who said they felt “financially stable at the moment” dropped from 61.2 per cent to 56.5 per cent during the GFC and has not yet recovered, according to a survey conducted by Roy Morgan Research.

The survey of more than 50,000 people showed that the percentage of Australians who feel financially stable is at 60.4 per cent, which is below pre-GFC levels.

Roy Morgan noted that the ASX’s rapid decline at the end of 2007 and throughout 2008 had a major impact on how people felt about their finances, reflected in the drop in the proportion of people feeling financially stable from 61.6 per cent in 2007 to 56.5 per cent in 2008 and 57.2 per cent in 2009.

The survey also revealed that banks with more affluent customers have the highest ratings of financial stability among customers, such as Macquarie (70.6 per cent), ING Direct (68.8 per cent) and Citibank (67.8 per cent).

The banks with the lowest ratings are Bendigo Bank (59.5 per cent), CBA (60 per cent) and Bank of Queensland at (60.8 per cent).

ANZ, Westpac and NAB’s ratings were at 64.4 per cent, 62.4 per cent and 62 per cent respectively.

“Although the upmarket banks' customers generally feel more confident about their financial position, they are likely to be more sensitive to market movements due to their greater financial involvement,” Roy Morgan Research industry communications director Norman Morris said.

“On the other hand, the banks with the lower value customer base such as the CBA and Bendigo Bank have the challenge of dealing with less-confident customers."
 

[Related: Financial comfort gap widens between young and old]

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