The financial services royal commission has continued to drive a fall in bank satisfaction, according to the latest Roy Morgan research.
The latest findings from Roy Morgan’s Customer Satisfaction-Consumer Banking in Australia October Report, which is based on a survey of over 50,000 consumers, have found that in the six months to October 2018, satisfaction with banks has fallen further to 78.0 per cent, from 78.5 per cent in September.
In the six months to January 2018, prior to the financial services royal commission, satisfaction with banks was 81.2 per cent, which Roy Morgan said has resulted in the lowest satisfaction with banks in seven years (77.9 per cent in August 2011) but remains above the long-term average and much higher than the 58.7 per cent recorded in 2001.
However, the research agency noted that despite the current high level of negative publicity and recent decline in satisfaction, the “clear majority of customers are still satisfied with their bank”.
Reflecting on the data, Norman Morris, industry communications director of Roy Morgan, said: “Given the high volume of negative publicity relating to the big four banks that continues to be generated by the royal commission, it is not surprising that customer satisfaction with them has shown greater declines than for other banks this year.
“This has resulted in satisfaction with banks overall currently being at their lowest level since 2011. What needs to be noted, however, is that contrary to all the negative reporting on banks, the clear majority of their customers remain satisfied with them and only around 6 per cent claim to be dissatisfied.”
Further, the Roy Morgan research found that satisfaction with the big four banks prior to the royal commission was 79.2 per cent; however, satisfaction with the major banks has fallen by 4.2 per cent since January to 75.0 per cent.
Conversely, satisfaction with non-major banks has decline by 1 per cent over the same period, leaving them with an overall customer satisfaction rating of 83.9 per cent, 8.9 per cent higher than the big four.
Moreover, the Roy Morgan research found that ING’s home loan customers were most satisfied among the 10 largest banks (94.8 per cent), followed by Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (89.7 per cent), St.George (81.5 per cent), Bankwest (77.8 per cent), Suncorp Bank (77.6 per cent), Commonwealth Bank and ANZ (71.4 per cent), Westpac (70.7 per cent), NAB (70.3 per cent) and Bank of Queensland (69.4 per cent).
“It is somewhat surprising to see that even with historically low interest rates, home loan customers of the big four banks are not only less satisfied than their other customers but are well behind the satisfaction of the home loan customers of the smaller banks,” Mr Morris added.
“This remains a problem in the highly competitive home loan market as well as being a drag on their overall satisfaction and advocacy levels.”