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CBA leads business banking satisfaction but biggest increases are for ANZ & NAB during 2020

Source: Roy Morgan Research Business Single Source, 12 months to January 2020, n=2,605, 12 months to January 2021, n=2,831. Base: Australian small business owners.
New research from Roy Morgan shows small business owner banking satisfaction for the four major banks was at 71.2% in 12 months to January 2021, an increase of 3.4% points from a year ago.

The increase came despite tremendous stresses put on the Australian economy as well as the banking and financial industry during 2020 as a nationwide shutdown in March and April was followed by a near four-month long lockdown in Victoria from early July to late October.

Satisfaction increased for the Commonwealth Bank by 3% points to 73.6% and the CBA now has the highest business owner banking satisfaction of any of the four major banks.

The largest increases in satisfaction were for the ANZ, which increased 8% points to 69.7% and the NAB which was up 3.2% points from a year ago to 69.3%. Westpac maintained the second highest business owner banking satisfaction at 70.5%.

The strong increases in business owner banking satisfaction during 2020 show that Australia’s major banks reacted in a productive fashion to the unprecedented challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has been the first big test for the banking industry following the handing down of the Financial Services Royal Commission Report in February 2019.

These are the latest findings from interviews with 2,831 small businesses owners in the 12 months to January 2021 as part of the Roy Morgan Business Owner Satisfaction Monitor regarding their level of satisfaction with the financial institution they deal with.

Small Business Owner Satisfaction with the Big Four Banks: January 2021 cf. January 2020

Source: Roy Morgan Research Business Single Source, 12 months to January 2020, n=2,605, 12 months to January 2021, n=2,831. Base: Australian small business owners.

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says Australian banks face new challenges in 2021 as the withdrawal of Government stimulus from the economy will place added pressure on businesses that have endured a tough year since the COVID-19 pandemic began:

“Contrary to the worries of many, a year ago as a new virus emerged in China and soon forced the closure of travel to and from Australia’s biggest trading partner, the Australian response to the virus has emerged as one of the world’s best.

“Strict border controls and several lockdowns of various lengths have resulted in low case numbers and low fatalities and combined with comprehensive government support and a responsive banking and finance industry Australia has so far emerged relatively unscathed from the pandemic.

“In particular Australia’s leading banks have performed exceptionally for their customers during the last year and this is reflected in the latest business owner banking satisfaction showing increased satisfaction for the big four banks as a whole, up 3.4% points to 71.2% in the 12 months to January 2021.

“The CBA has the highest business owner banking satisfaction at 73.6%, up 3% points from a year ago and there were even larger increases for the ANZ, up 8% points to 69.7%, and NAB, up 3.2% points to 69.3%.

“As we head into 2021 the big concern for everyone in business is what impact the withdrawal of significant Government support payments such as the JobKeeper wage subsidy will have on the economy and particularly those businesses hardest hit by COVID-19 mitigation measures.

“JobKeeper is due to wind up in just over a month’s time at the end of March and recent Treasury estimates suggest there are still 1.3 million employed Australians being supported by the wage subsidy. The ending of JobKeeper will no doubt result in job losses amongst this cohort but the Government, as well as businesses and industry, are counting on a growing economy keeping these losses to a minimum.

“The challenge for banking and financial institutions lies in dealing proactively with businesses that may well run into trouble without the JobKeeper wage subsidy. Businesses that are reliant on international travel and tourism appear to be the most vulnerable to a reduction in Government support and stimulus as long as international borders remain closed to foreign tourists.”

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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%