Difference in scores a reflection of banking study

The big gap in satisfaction scores between first place and the rest of the pack in Consumer NZ’s latest survey of the worst and best banks, reflects the findings of the Commerce Commission’s banking draft market study, Consumer NZ says.

The study found limited competition between the big players in New Zealand’s banking sector has resulted in the majority of banking customers receiving lower levels of service.

Consumer NZ chief executive John Duffy says it’s concerning to find Australian-owned Westpac, which holds almost 20% of the New Zealand market, has the lowest levels of customer satisfaction. “Something isn’t working properly in this market if customers aren’t switching to banks with better service.”

Westpac was at the bottom of the survey pile while The Co-operative Bank, which has the smallest market share at just 0.5% , claimed the top spot for overall satisfaction for the third year in a row.

Duffy says the way a bank treats its customers should be an important factor for people in choosing who looks after their money.

“If people don’t rate their bank’s service – whether it’s the digital experience, the advice they receive or how quickly the bank responds to emails – they should find a provider that better suits their needs and switch.”

He says sticking with a bank that provides a sub-standard service is effectively a vote for sub-standard service.

“Despite many people thinking that switching is a big hassle, those who switch say it was a whole lot easier than they thought."

The commission’s draft report sets out how consumers will directly benefit from reduced barriers to switching providers.

The recommendations include the introduction of better tools and services to help consumers in securing the best deals. It also advocates for an enhanced switching service and the introduction of a basic bank account service that is accessible to all New Zealanders.

How they fared

As well as rating above average when it comes to its customers’ experiences, The Co-operative Bank, which is owned by its customers, won first place in Consumer NZ’s survey by a landslide.

It scored 86% for overall satisfaction, whereas the rest of the banks received much lower satisfaction scores of between 54% and 66%.

Second place went to TSB, which performed best in areas that The Co-operative Bank did not – namely when it came to call centre performance and fees.

ANZ took third place with a satisfaction score of 63%, ranking well for customer-facing features like digital banking services.

Kiwibank ranked fourth, with a score of 61%, performing strongly for how it deals with problems and its value for money.

“BNZ and ASB both scored 60%, receiving mixed results across Consumer NZ’s measures of satisfaction.

Westpac was the worst-performing bank for the third year running, with just 54% of its customers satisfied by their experience with the bank.

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