Big Four Customers Can't Get No Satisfaction

Building societies and credit unions top banking survey

The Big Four banks’ customers are far less satisfied with their financial institution than those with credit unions and building societies, according to the latest personal banking satisfaction survey of CHOICE members.

The banks ranked close to bottom for overall satisfaction with poor comments about everything from high fees to second-rate service as well as their reluctance to pass on full interest rate cuts to home loan borrowers.

More than 3000 respondents rated their satisfaction with their institutions for banking, home loans and credit cards, alongside other issues including customer service, fees, ATM access, interest rates and branch locations.

Credit Union Australia and Teachers Credit Union scored equal first place for everyday banking with an overall satisfaction score of 84%, followed by Bendigo Bank with 82%.

ANZ was the highest of the Big Four with a 66% satisfaction score for everyday banking, followed by CBA and Westpac at 64% and NAB at 61%.

ME Bank (formerly Members Equity), ING Direct and Bankwest customers reported being the most satisfied with their home loan arrangements, while CBA, Westpac and NAB customers said they were the least satisfied.

For credit card products, ME Bank, Bendigo Bank and Credit Union Australia topped the list, while GE Money sat at the bottom with 61%.

Despite the Big Four banks consistently rating among the lowest across all three banking categories 76% of bank customers said they had no plans to switch to another financial institution for everyday banking.

Barriers to switching institutions included; “too difficult”, because of several products with the same institution (17%); “no point”, as it appears financial institutions are all the same (12%); and “too much effort required” (9%).

“What this survey clearly tells us is that customers who bank with the Big Four are the least satisfied but many are unwilling to vote with their feet,” said CHOICE spokesman Christopher Zinn.

“If more people switched to a credit union or building society – which consistently scored much higher satisfaction scores – the Big Four might get the message and be encouraged to lift their games.”

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Bank satisfaction survey 2009

So which institutions came out on top for bank accounts, credit cards and homeloans in our survey?

30 Sep 2009 | Over the past year, ANZ, Commonwealth, NAB and Westpac have increased market share but our survey reveals they haven't increased in popularity.

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