In the six months to September 2015, the overall satisfaction level of home loan customers who have dealt with the country’s four biggest banks was at 80.0%. While higher than the 78.2% posted 12 months ago, the level is significantly lower compared to the performance of the other major banks fifth and below, according to a survey conducted by Roy Morgan Research. The survey covered eleven major home loan banks.
CBA led the major banks in terms of customer satisfaction, at 82.0%. Westpac was at 80.8%, NAB at 78.9%, and ANZ 77.5%. While they are all decent ratings, the big four did not fare any better compared to their counterparts.
The next seven major banks posted satisfaction levels over 85%, with a select few exceeding 92%.
ME Bank home loan customers had the highest satisfaction levels at 92.88%, followed by ING Direct with 92.7%. Bank SA came in at third place with 88.7% and Bendigo Bank clocked in at 87.6%.
Despite the reductions in home loan rates in recent years, ANZ, CBA, and NAB have home loan customer satisfaction levels below those for their non-home loan customers. Westpac was an exception, as the bank’s non-home loan customer satisfaction level was at 79.8% (compared to 80.8%).
CBA increased its lead in overall satisfaction, 82.5%, among the big four banks, and NAB is second with 81.4%. Over the year, CBA improved the most in overall customer satisfaction by 1.4%, followed by NAB at 0.6%. Both ANZ and Westpac suffered declines, at 0.3% and 1.0%, respectively.
Smaller banks posted more significant gains in their overall customer satisfaction levels than the big four. Bank of Melbourne was up 5.8%, Teachers Mutual at 5.2%, Bank SA up 4.3%, and Bendigo Bank with 2.0%.
“With signs beginning to emerge that home loan rates will rise, it will be of critical importance to track how mortgage customers feel about their bank as it is likely to adversely impact on key metrics such as satisfaction and advocacy. Even after a sustained period of low home loan rates, the home loan customers of the big four banks remain less satisfied overall than those who do not have a home loan,” observed Norman Morris, industry communications director for Roy Morgan Research.
“Our research shows that the smaller banks’ home loan customers have much higher satisfaction levels than those of the big four and this gap is likely to increase if the big four are the first to increase their loan rates,” he noted. “We have seen in the past that if increases in home loan rates are given a great deal of adverse publicity, then a decline in customer satisfaction inevitably follows.”
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