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Westpac increases its lead in business customer satisfaction among the big four banks, CBA up despite bad publicity on financial planners

Source: Roy Morgan Research Business Single Source, August 2014, average 6 monthly sample n=6,400

The satisfaction level of the business customers of the four major banks reached 67.3% in August 2014, an increase of 0.6% points over the last month and 2.5% points since August 2013, and the highest level since 2010. Westpac increased its lead among the big four for business customer satisfaction with 72.3%, well ahead of second-placed NAB on 67.3%, ANZ with 65.4% and CBA at 64.6%. Despite the recent adverse publicity surrounding the CBA financial planners, satisfaction among their business customers increased by 1.6% points over the last month but is down 0.4% points over the year.

These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Research Business Single Source survey of around 12,000 interviews per year.

Business customer satisfaction improving

Over the last year, Westpac was the biggest improver (up 4.4% points to 72.3%), followed by the NAB (up 3.7% points to 67.3 %), ANZ (up 2.8% to 65.4%) and the CBA, which was down 0.4% points to 64.6%.

While each of the major four banks is competing for top position among their peers, the market leader, Bendigo Bank, remains well ahead of all four with 85.2% satisfaction, an increase of 5.3% points over the last 12 months.

Business Satisfaction with the Big Four Banks


Source: Roy Morgan Research Business Single Source, August 2014, average 6 monthly sample n=6,400.

Business banking customer loyalty a major issue

While there has generally been a strong increase in business banking customer satisfaction for most of the major banks since 2010, there has also been some improvement in customer loyalty across most banks as a result, measured by the proportion of business customers who deal with only one bank . However there remains a problem in that the majority of business customers of most banks still deal with more than one bank. Of the eleven major business banks looked at, only the NAB (52%) and the CBA (51%) had a narrow majority of their customers using them as their only bank. Of the other major banks, the best performers were St George (49%), Bendigo Bank (47%), Westpac (46%) and ANZ (46%). The smaller banks were all much lower (in the range of 9% for Citibank up to 36% for Bank of Queensland). This poorer performance is as a result of the business customers of these banks also generally dealing with one of the big four. 

Business Bank Customer Loyalty — deal with only one bank*


Source: Roy Morgan Research Business Single Source, 6 months to August 2014; n=4,135.

The major bank competitors for NAB customers’ business are the CBA and Westpac; for the CBA it is Westpac; for Westpac it is the CBA; and for the ANZ it is the CBA and Westpac.

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

“Satisfaction among banks’ business customers is now at record high levels but still well below the satisfaction levels of their personal customers. It is also below the level that is likely to drive increased customer loyalty, cross-sell and advocacy. At the current satisfaction levels, only a minority of the business customers could be regarded as likely to recommend their bank to others.

“The best performer of the big four is Westpac where 50% of their business customers would be regarded as likely to recommend their bank, but for the other majors this slips back to around 40%. It is not surprising, given its very high satisfaction level, that Bendigo Bank’s customers would be the most likely to recommend the bank to others with a very high 73%.

“The improvement in satisfaction levels over the last four years is encouraging but there are areas still in need for better performance,  such as being more understanding of customers  and their business, following developments in their industry, and having more regular contact.

“It is worth noting that the recent adverse publicity received by the CBA regarding issues relating to financial planners and consumer banking has not had a detrimental impact on business customer satisfaction, which has in fact risen over the last month.

“Competition in this market is likely to increase as banks look for growth opportunities and with this will come the issue of how to best retain and grow the business from their existing customers. This presents a major challenge in an environment where more than half of the business customers of most banks already deal with at least one other bank, making switching a much easier task”

View more information on the Australian Consumer Banking Satisfaction Monthly Report.

View more information on the Australian Business Banking Satisfaction Report.

For comments or more information please contact:

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

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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 Business Single Source

The Roy Morgan Research business survey covers businesses from every industry, size and locality in Australia. The survey based on over 12,000 business decision makers per annum covers all aspects of business finance so as to be comparable with the well established Roy Morgan Consumer Single Source. Roy Morgan Business Single Source is designed to provide the ideal Business single source model. It not only provides a comprehensive understanding of the business finance market, but also detailed insights into the personal finances of business finance decision makers.

The Roy Morgan Business Survey includes a monthly measure of the level of confidence or outlook for Australian businesses. It looks at how businesses view their own position and prospects, and more broadly how they feel about the direction of the overall economy. The analysis covers all major industry sectors, size of business and location.

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%