People increasingly unhappy with banks

The latest survey of banks by Consumer NZ shows 73% of New Zealanders think they charge too much.

In addition, 52% believe they cannot be trusted.

Consumer NZ chief executive Jon Duffy says trust appears to be eroding in the banking sector in comparison with last year,

“Rising cost of living challenges, lower savings rates and other pressures may be contributing factors,” Duffy said.

“While the cost of living soars, banks are reporting major profits – which is not going unnoticed by customers.”

Duffy added 72% of respondents thought banks needed to be monitored more closely.

The survey revealed some outliers in terms of customer satisfaction.

The Co-operative bank, formed from the old PSIS, was the best rated bank, scoring an overall customer satisfaction score of 86%. This bank has 170,000 customers but is a minnow compared with the industry leaders.
Second in the rankings was TSB, which scored 78% customer approval.

Duffy said Westpac stood out for the lowest satisfaction rating this year, at 54%, though it was above average for branch service.

The biggest bank, ANZ, scored 56%.

BNZ, Kiwibank and ASB all scored between 64% and 60%, with no figures above average for any of the key performance measures.

However, Kiwibank rated below average for responsible lending and for its call centre service.

“Consumers are telling us that the bigger half of the banking industry is doing poorly on customer service,” Duffy said.

The Consumer NZ survey came after the Banking Ombudsman reported complaints about home loans and credit cards rose 24% and 19% in the December quarter compared with the previous three months.

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