Back To Listing

Big four banks facing strong competition selling superannuation to their customers

Source: Roy Morgan Research , 12 months to July 2010 (n=33,901) and 12 months to July 2014 (n=33,812) NB: Groups include subsidiaries.

Each of the big four banks is having difficulty cross-selling superannuation to their customers as shown by the fact that each is capturing less than 20% of their customers’ superannuation balances. These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Research Consumer Single Source survey of approximately 50,000 interviews per annum.

Share of customers’ superannuation wallet

Of the four major banking groups, the best performer in terms of the share of their customers’ superannuation wallet held, is the NAB Group with 18.4%. This is down from the 20.5% held in 2010 but still remains ahead of the CBA Group (13.2%), Westpac Group (13.0%) and ANZ Group (10.4%). 

Share of customers’ superannuation wallet


Source: Roy Morgan Research , 12 months to July 2010 (n=33,901) and 12 months to July 2014 (n=33,812) NB: Groups include subsidiaries.

There is no overall trend in the cross-sell performance of the big four with regards to superannuation over the last four years. Westpac and the CBA have shown small improvements (Westpac Group + 1.7% points and CBA Group +0.5% points), while ANZ and NAB have shown some losses (ANZ Group down 0.7% points and NAB Group down 2.1% points).

Competition for the big four banks customers superannuation

The major competition for each of the big four banks is industry funds which hold around 25% of each banks customers superannuation wallet. This figure ranges from 23.4% for the NAB Group to 28.0% for the CBA Group and this proportion has increased for each of the big four banks over the last four years.

The largest individual competitor for these major banks is the AMP which holds around 6% of the superannuation balances for each, ranging from 5.8% for the NAB Group to 6.8% for the ANZ Group.

Share of customers’ superannuation wallet and major competitors for the big four banking groups


Source: Roy Morgan Research Consumer Single Source, 12 months to July 2014, n=33,812. NB: Groups include subsidiaries

There is limited loyalty to the major banks with around 10% of each bank’s customers’ superannuation balances held at one of the other big four banks. This ranges from 8.7% for the NAB up to 11.9% for the ANZ. The remainder of the balances are held by self-managed funds, other retail funds and public sector funds.

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“With over $1.8 trillion held in superannuation, competition in this market is going to be tough for the superannuation balances held by customers of the big four banks. Where the major banks have their traditional strength is in banking products such as home loans, cards and deposits but they are facing much stronger competition with superannuation where they are up against specialist providers.

“Although the major banks either own or have ties to a large proportion of financial planners, when it comes to superannuation it appears from our research that the clear majority of employees take out their superannuation through their employer rather than a planner. The role of the employer has obviously given impetus to the strength of the industry funds whose gains appear to a large extent to come from people switching jobs.

“Satisfaction with financial performance of superannuation has a big impact in this market with the highest satisfaction clearly being given by those people running their own self-managed funds. The rapid growth seen in self-managed funds is a major threat to the retail funds and is an area where accountants rather than planners play a major role.

“The Interim Report of the Financial System Inquiry observed that for superannuation, ‘operating costs and fees appear high by international standards’ and if this remains an area of focus in the final report, competition is likely to intensify further. With increasing balances also likely to attract more competitors and attention on fees, performance and their disclosure, competition between banks and their specialist competitors in superannuation is likely to remain a problem for improving cross-sell in this market.”

For comments or more information please contact:

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director
Office: +61 (3) 9224 5172
Mobile: +61 402 014 474

Please click on this link to the Roy Morgan Online Store

Related research reports

Click here for more information on the Consumer Satisfaction – Financial Performance of Superannuation in Australia Monthly Report.

Click here for more information on the Superannuation and Wealth Management in Australia Report.

About Roy Morgan Research Consumer Single Source

Roy Morgan Single Source is based on over 50,000 interviews each year and has been designed and engineered to represent the ideal source model. It provides an integrated understanding of consumers; what they are like, what they consume, what they buy, what they think, what they want, what they watch, read and listen to. The overriding benefit of Roy Morgan Single Source is the strategic insights it offers in the ability to link many aspects. Not only can an organisation’s profitable customers be delineated by what they think, do, watch, but so can non customers. Hence brand positioning, product differentiation, merchandising, efficient media planning, market expansion and line extension opportunities can all be considered in the light of the correct understanding of the marketplace.

About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate



25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%