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Consumer satisfaction with banks in November the highest in nearly two decades

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, June 2014-November 2014, Big Four Banks (n=26,659); Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, Jun 2014-Nov 2014, Big Four banks, average 6-month sample n=18,549

In November the satisfaction level of the personal customers of banks reached an eighteen year record high of 82.8%, up from 82.6% in October and 81.3% twelve months ago. The competition among the big four banks for number one ranking remained close, with the CBA now the leader in overall satisfaction with 81.8%. In terms of MFI (main financial institution) customer rankings, Westpac (83.5%) holds a narrow lead over the CBA (83.3%).

These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey of over 50,000 people pa.

Customer satisfaction with the ten largest banks

Although the major focus is usually on the satisfaction ratings of the big four banks, it is worth considering their performance against that of their other major rivals. The purpose here is to compare their rating against the next six largest banks (based on personal customer numbers) so as to look at the top ten banks.

Satisfaction with the Ten Largest* Consumer Banks


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, June 2014-November 2014, Big Four Banks (n=26,659)

The highest satisfaction level among these major banks is ING Direct with 89.4%, followed by Bendigo Bank (89.0%) and Suncorp (88.6%). The big four banks are all below the total bank satisfaction rating of 82.8%. The two major subsidiaries of the big four banks (ie St George and BankWest) have both maintained higher satisfaction levels than their parent banks (ie Westpac and CBA respectively).

Satisfaction with internet banking plays a major role

The level of satisfaction with the channels used to deal with banks plays a major role in how consumers feel about their bank overall. The internet has become the channel most frequently used by customers over the last few years to deal with their bank, largely replacing the branch. In an average four-week period nearly 60% of bank customers deal with their bank via the internet compared to only around one third visiting a branch.

Satisfaction with Internet Banking -Ten Largest* Consumer Banks


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, June 2014-November 2014 (n=26,659).

The overall level of satisfaction with internet banking is nearly 90%, with BankWest the highest (92.3%) and Suncorp close behind (92.2%). The best performer among the big four is CBA (91.7%).

Branch banking satisfaction still important

Although branch banking is on the decline, it is still used by a significant proportion of all the major banks’ customers (around 25% to 35%) in an average four-week period, and as such is the major source of personal contact.

Of the larger banks, Bendigo Bank customers have the highest satisfaction level with branch banking (95.8%), followed by Bank West (92.0%).

Satisfaction with Branch Banking - Nine Largest* Consumer Banks


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, June 2014-November 2014 (n=26,659).

The overall satisfaction rating across all banks with branch banking is 88.2 %, with the CBA (88.5%) being the only one of the big four above the average.

Tight competition for top spot among the big four

The big four banks continue to focus on achieving the top position among their peers. Over the last decade, the gap between them has closed to the point where currently only 2.1% points separate them. The CBA has regained the top spot with 81.8%, followed by Westpac (81.2 %).

Consumer Banking Satisfaction: Big Four Banks


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, Jun 2014-Nov 2014, Big Four banks, average 6-month sample n=18,549

Over the last year the biggest improvement in satisfaction was from the ANZ (up 2.5% points), followed by Westpac (up 2.2% points), NAB (plus 1.3% points) and CBA (down 0.1% points).

All four of these banks home loan customers currently have lower satisfaction levels than those customers who don’t have a home loan, which is somewhat surprising considering the historically low home loan rates. The improvement over the year for the big four in total came from non-home loan customers (plus 1.5% points) compared to an overall decline in home loan customer satisfaction (down 0.3 % points).

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

“Despite the often negative publicity banks receive in the media, from the customers’ point of view they have shown a very positive satisfaction trend over more than a decade to the point where satisfaction levels are now at an eighteen-year high.

“Generally speaking, the major banks have all focused on improving their satisfaction levels, and combined with more convenient ways for customers to deal with them (particularly a big focus on online capabilities), they have seen major improvements in customer satisfaction.

“Not only is the competition among the big four raising customer satisfaction, but the smaller banks with their generally higher satisfaction levels are also providing incentive for continued improvements.”

For comments or more information please contact:
Suela Qemal, General Manager - Financial Services & Consulting
Office: +61 (3) 9629 6888

About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan 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%