01.Big four blues
Australia’s big four banks can claim most people who took part in our 2011 banking satisfaction surveys as long-term customers, but calling them satisfied would be a stretch.
We’ve considered a wide range of responses from 2546 survey participants, a striking 36% of whom bank with Commonwealth Bank (CBA), the most popular in our survey.
More than three quarters of them have been with CBA for longer than 10 years, and 41% of respondents have been distributed more or less evenly among at least one of the other three most popular banks – ANZ, Westpac and NAB – for 10 or more years.
In this article you'll find:
For more information on Saving money, see Banking.
The big four dominate across transaction accounts, credit cards and home loans, with only ING Direct breaking into the top four for savings accounts (the big four banks make up the rest of the top five). It’s a big piece of the pie, no matter how you slice it.
This customer loyalty is astonishing given significantly fewer survey participants gave their big four bank an overall rating of very good or excellent – our criteria for satisfaction – compared with customers of other institutions. The big four were bottom dwellers in our 2010 survey, too.
This year, the clear leaders for customer satisfaction overall were, in descending order:
- Teachers Credit Union (TCU)
- UBank (an online-only division of NAB, so not one of the big four for the purposes of our survey)
- Members Equity (ME) Bank
- ING Direct
- Bendigo Bank
Customers of these institutions were also generally more likely to recommend their bank to friends, family and colleagues. TCU, ING Direct, Bendigo and ME Bank were also near the top of the satisfaction scale last year, while the others are newcomers.
Only with home loans do CHOICE members appear more willing than the general population to trust smaller
providers, with just 56% of survey respondents doing business with one of the big four compared with about
80% in the broader market.