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Bank customer satisfaction up

Bank customer satisfaction up

Retail bank customers are more satisfied than ever with the service they receive from the big five -- but the big five continue to provide less satisfaction than homegrown minis, TSB and now Kiwibank.

The University of Auckland Business School Retail Bank Customer Survey, done in conjunction with Massey researchers, shows TSB as a clear winner on a spread of key customer satisfaction points - a pole position it held from its first survey appearance in 2000 through to 2003.

This year, it was joined at the top on several key issues by debuting Kiwibank which actually edged TSB out on the percentage of customers who said they were satisfied or very satisfied, 95 to 93 per cent.

The survey shows that Kiwibank has a good spread of customers across all ages and incomes – and they're doing a good job of picking up 'middle New Zealand’.

Pole positions

Among the five major banks, ASB continues to hold top spot.

The big improvers were ANZ and National, which merged at a corporate level in 2003 but continue to operate as separate brands.

BNZ was largely unchanged from 2003.

While Westpac's satisfaction rating improved, it was leapfrogged by ANZ and fell into last place.

"The stronger showing of the two smaller banks perhaps indicates just how difficult it is for the bigger players to effectively balance the competing demands of shareholder returns and customer service, including fees. TSB and Kiwibank seem better able to manage that. Being 'local' possibly works in their favour as well," says Professor Richard Brookes from the Auckland Business School

Fees

Bank charges, fees and interest were considered "excessive or high" by more than a third of the industry's customers.

Westpac was the most poorly rated, with just under half its customers (49 per cent) falling into this category, followed by BNZ (46 per cent) and ANZ (42 per cent).

Almost three-quarters of TSB customers said their bank fees and charges were low, compared with the survey average of 15 per cent.

Churn

One in five customers said they were "somewhat likely or very likely" to switch banks (the same figure as two years ago).

ANZ was the poorest performer, with 31 per cent of its customers falling into this category.

Professor Brookes cautions, however, that the costs of switching meant intentions to switch were not usually acted upon.

TSB customers are likely to be the most loyal, with almost 80 per cent saying they were "very unlikely" to switch banks, compared to the survey average of 35 per cent.

Background
The nationwide survey was carried out in early October and canvassed the views of 885 retail customers on their main bank. It was undertaken by Professor Brookes and Shu-Han Sophia Chen from the Department of Marketing, The University of Auckland Business School, in conjunction with Associate Professor of Marketing Andrew Parsons and Professor of Finance Larry Rose, both from the Department of Commerce, Massey University Auckland.

ENDS

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