Media Releases

Customer owned banks as a group are the most trusted banks in Australia – Roy Morgan


Sydney, 20 September 2023: Roy Morgan’s Customer Owned Banking Association – Trust and Distrust Scores Report has shown customer owned banks collectively lead the table when it comes to consumer trust in banking, recording a higher Net Trust Score than any individual bank in Australia.

In the report, the banks that are members of the Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) recorded far more trust than distrust, despite operating in an otherwise deeply distrusted sector. The collective Net Trust Score was higher than the Net Trust Score for Australia’s most trusted non-mutual bank.

According to the report, the entire banking industry ranks 22nd out of the 26 industries measured. In contrast, the customer owned banking sector as a ‘sub-industry’ would rank seventh.

In total, 25 of COBA’s member brands were mentioned unprompted by respondents in the Roy Morgan Risk Monitor including Bank Australia, Bank First, Great Southern Bank, Heritage and People’s Choice, IMB, and Police Bank.

The findings have been welcomed by COBA as a reflection of the relationships COBA members form with their customers, which focuses on putting customers first through competitive rates, personalised service, and a strong community commitment.

“It’s not surprising that our people-first approach translates into high levels of trust,” said COBA CEO, Mike Lawrence. “This is a natural extension of our customer-centric philosophy. At every juncture, our members place their customers’ needs first and not only do our banks hold more consumer trust, they also have the most satisfied customers,” Mr Lawrence said.

“Customer owned banks provide market-leading service, with Roy Morgan’s Customer Satisfaction in Banking report showing that main financial institution (MFI) customers of the mutual sector had the highest satisfaction ranking of any banking customer in Australia at 91.6%, 14.2% higher than the Big 4 banks, in the 6 months to June 2022.”

Today, Wednesday 20 September, COBA CEO Mike Lawrence appeared at the Inquiry into Bank Closures in Regional Australia before the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References.

“Many customer owned banks go above and beyond to support regional communities. Where possible, customer owned banks are innovating to keep branch services open, including partnering with communities to operate co-owned community branches or co-locating with government services. This kind of support is why Australians have high trust with customer owned banks,” Mr Lawrence said.

In Australia, customer owned banks now represent 70 per cent of Australia’s total domestic ADIs and collectively hold over $167 billion in assets, as of June 2023.


COBA’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael Lawrence, is available for interview.

For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact media@coba.asn.au

The Customer Owned Banking Association is the industry body for mutual banks, credit unions and building societies. For 150 years our sector has put customers first, returning profits to more than 5 million Australians who put their trust in customer owned banks.

Hear it first

Four times a year we’ll send you helpful banking tips and inspiring stories from our members.