Roy Morgan Research
October 20, 2023

Bendigo Bank is the most trusted agribusiness bank among Australian farmers, followed by NAB and CBA

Topic: Press Release
Finding No: 9357
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A special Roy Morgan Agribusiness Brand Trust Survey of Australian farmers looking at trust and distrust in Australia’s agricultural sector shows Bendigo Bank as the most trusted agribusiness bank by Australian farmers in 2023.

The results in the recent Roy Morgan Farmer Agribusiness Brand Trust Survey Report are based on 1,002 in-depth interviews with Australian farmers conducted during July 2023.

Farmers commended the most trusted agribusiness bank, Bendigo Bank, for their community support, for long-term relationships with farmers, for providing reliable customer service, and for providing solutions locally.

In their own words, farmers provided the following examples of reasons for trusting Bendigo Bank:

We went to them after having problems with a major bank and they fixed our problem. They are very generous toward community organisations in the district.”

“It’s locally owned and returns profits back into the community, and it has local branches.”

“They have local branches, are very helpful, and have wonderful staff.”

The next most trusted banks in the agribusiness sector were NAB and CBA.

Examples of reasons farmers trusted the 2nd ranked NAB included:

“Long-term relationship and the people we speak to in person.”

“They seem very reliable, and usually have very competitive rates.”

“Good agricultural bank and provide loans to local farmers.”

Examples of reasons farmers trusted the 3rd ranked CBA were:

“Have supported my needs over 50 years of banking, including savings, farm loans, and investment loans. Very personal service and diligent management.”

“Trusted, secure, and market leader.”

“Many branches, one of the largest banks.”

Trust varied by farm revenue, farm location, and farm type

Trust in agribusiness banks varied by farm revenue, with farms with over $1 million in annual revenue trusting Rabobank the most, followed by Bendigo Bank and CBA.

Trust in individual agribusiness banks also varied by farm location, with Bendigo Bank being the most trusted bank across all states except Tasmania where NAB was the most trusted. Rabobank performed better in some states and was among the top 3 trusted banks for farmers in New South Wales, South Australia, and Western Australia.

A higher Net Trust Score for Bendigo Bank was largely driven by higher trust among Sheep farmers in Australia, however, Dairy farmers ranked CBA as the most trusted bank. Differences were also evident among Beef, Horticulture, and other livestock farmers.

As well as capturing insights into agribusiness banks, the survey identified the most important attributes for farmers when choosing which agribusiness brands more broadly to deal with. Competent staff, value for money, and local industry knowledge were among the most important attributes for farmers.

3 in 4 farmers (75%) reported that having competent staff was very important when choosing an agribusiness brand to deal with, followed by 2 in 3 Australian farmers (64%) reporting that providing value for money and local industry knowledge were very important attributes.

There were also differences in the importance of attributes between states and farm types. Apart from competent staff and value for money, farmers in New South Wales and South Australia felt that providing advice was very important when deciding which agribusiness brands to deal with.

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine credits brands such as Bendigo Bank for driving a high Net Trust Score within the bank agribusiness industry although there are laggards dealing with distrust:

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“In 2023, Bendigo Bank is the most trusted agribusiness bank followed by NAB and Commonwealth Bank.

“Farmers rely heavily on the agribusiness industry to support their businesses and way of life.

“The Roy Morgan Farmer Agribusiness Brand Trust Survey shows the sector overall enjoys a high level of trust among Australian farmers and this is no different for the agribusiness banks.

“However, despite the generally high trust seen in the sector, some farmers distrust agribusiness banks often drive by perceptions that banks are too profit-driven, unpleasant experiences with the banks, and poor customer service. Farmers who distrust a bank are far less likely to use that bank or consider using it in the future.

According to Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine, “When customers trust a brand, they continue buying its products or services, they recommend it to others and remain loyal to the brand. So trust is the underpinning foundation of brand reputation.

“This is especially important in the farming and agribusiness industries where building and maintaining trust is a key pathway to developing business and personal relationships within this competitive sector.

“Roy Morgan’s research shows that whilst key drivers of trust differ across industries and brands it is the cornerstone of building a sustainable future for a business. Trust builds human connections with businesses, underpins brand reputation, and creates customer loyalty. Trust promotes customer advocacy and referrals, drives revenue growth, and increases market capitalisation.

“At the other end of the spectrum distrust is one of the most significant, yet least recognised risks to Australian business and society in general. Distrust kills audience engagement, is the tipping point for reputational damage and directly impacts commercial and economic outcomes. Distrust is the bellwether for an unsustainable future.”

For more details on trust and distrust in the Agribusiness industry, purchase the Roy Morgan Agribusiness Brand Trust Report here.

In July 2023, 1,002 Australian farmers completed Roy Morgan’s Farmer Agribusiness Brand Trust 2023 survey, providing insight into farmers’ perceptions of, and experiences with key agribusiness brands including trust and distrust. Farmers from a range of farms participated in the survey – Beef, Cropping, Sheep (meat), Sheep (wool), Horticulture, Dairy and other farm types, small farms to those over 25,000 hectares, annual revenue from under $100,000 to over $5 million.

The most trusted agribusiness banks are those with the highest Net Trust Scores derived from the percentage of respondents who distrust each brand subtracted from the percentage of respondents who trust each brand when respondents were shown a list of key agribusiness banks.

The Roy Morgan Agribusiness Brand Trust Report details insights into farmer perceptions of key agribusiness brands including:

  • The biggest challenges for farmers currently
  • Brand awareness
  • Net Trust/Distrust Scores and rankings of around 70 agribusiness brands*
  • Which agribusiness brands farmers trust and distrust
  • Why farmers trust and distrust these brands
  • Which agribusiness brands farmers use and would consider
  • Likelihood to recommend brands (Advocacy / Net Promoter Score)
  • Agri-finance products owned
  • Main financial institution
  • Likelihood to continue banking with main financial institution
  • Analysis overall, as well as by farm type, size, revenue, and state
  • Comparison to 2022 results, where available.

The report includes an Executive Summary, charts, tables, and commentary summarising key findings, with examples of reasons farmers trust and distrust specific brands, and their biggest challenges – in their own words.

For comments or more information please contact:

Roy Morgan Enquiries
Office: +61 (03) 9224 5309

*Agribusiness Brands, Products and Suppliers and Banks included: AACo, Ace Ohlsson, Adama, Ag N Vet, AG Warehouse, AIRR, AL Chalmers and Sons, ANZ, AWB, AWN, B and W Rural, BASF, Bayer, Bendigo Bank, BN Proud, CBH Group, Commonwealth Bank, Coprice, Corteva, CropSmart, CRT, Cudgegong Rural Supplies, Dairy Australia, Dairy Farmers Group, Delta Agribusiness, DJ Growers, Eastern Rural, Eastern Rural Supplies, Elders, Emms Mooney, EPG Seeds, FMC, Fonterra, 4 Farmers, Graincorp, Grover’s Rural Supplies, Incitec Pivot, Inghams Enterprises, Irwin Stockfeeds, Kenso Agcare, Kerr and Co, Laucke Mills, Livestock Consulting, Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), Monsanto, NAB, Norco, Northern Rural Supplies, NRI, Nufarm, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Ozcrop, Pastoral Ag, Rabobank, Reid Stockfeeds, Ridley, Riverina, Rural Bank, Sipcam, Summit Fertilizers, Sunfarm, Syngenta, Titan AG, UPL, Wesfarmers, Westpac, Yara International, YP Ag, and Zoetis.  

About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is Australia’s largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state, as well as in the U.S. and U.K. A full-service research organisation, Roy Morgan has over 80 years of experience 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
40% – 60% 25% or 75% 10% or 90% 5% or 95%
1,000 ±3.0 ±2.7 ±1.9 ±1.3
5,000 ±1.4 ±1.2 ±0.8 ±0.6
7,500 ±1.1 ±1.0 ±0.7 ±0.5
10,000 ±1.0 ±0.9 ±0.6 ±0.4
20,000 ±0.7 ±0.6 ±0.4 ±0.3
50,000 ±0.4 ±0.4 ±0.3 ±0.2
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