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Customer-owned banks continue to outshine other banks in customer satisfaction


The latest Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Consumer Banking in Australia report reveals customer-owned banks continue to outperform major banks in customer satisfaction, a trend that that has persisted for decades.

Customer-owned banks achieved an 89.5% satisfaction rate by Australians who used them as their main financial institution, surpassing the major banks’ 75.4% rating and the average rating of 78.3% for all banks.

The Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) said the ratings reflected the distinct alternative customer-owned banks offer to investor-owned institutions.

“The customer-owned model allows mutual banks and credit unions to prioritise reinvesting profits back into customers and communities, rather than maximising shareholder returns and the need to direct profits towards paying dividends. This means they can make decisions that genuinely benefit their customers, such as offering competitive rates, better local service and reinvesting in communities,” COBA CEO Michael Lawrence said.

When it comes to overall customer satisfaction P&N Bank (93.4%) topped the list, followed by Newcastle Permanent (91.5%) and People’s Choice Credit Union (89.9%). 

Topping the list for satisfaction with main financial institutions were also all customer-owned banks, with Teachers Mutual Bank Limited (95%), Heritage Bank (93.6%), Greater Bank (91.3%) Beyond Bank (90.5%) and People’s Choice Credit Union (89.7%).

Teachers Mutual Bank Limited CEO Anthony Hughes said while the announcement was a pleasant surprise, it was wonderful recognition for its passionate teams.

“Teachers Mutual Bank is a proud customer-owned bank and our top ranking and 95% main financial institution customer satisfaction score shows the community that it is possible for great banking and great service to go hand-in-hand. cThis result underscores how our customers value the helpfulness of our teams, the quality of our products, and the trust they have with our bank,” he said.

P&N Bank Executive General Manager Retail Banking Angela Newland credited the result to its team members. 

“This recognition is testament to the commitment of our people in putting our customers at the forefront of everything we do. Whether our customers love to visit our branches, call our Perth-based call centre, interact with us digitally or through their broker – providing seamless, transparent, and personalised service is at the heart of everything we do,” she said. 

In the last 20 years, while customer satisfaction for major banks has dipped as low as the mid-50% range, customer satisfaction for mutual banks, credit unions and building societies has consistently remained above 80%.

“The Roy Morgan report reaffirms the customer-owned banking sector’s unwavering dedication to delivering better outcomes for customers, resulting in these consistently high satisfaction levels,” COBA CEO Michael Lawrence said.

With 55 customer-owned banks to choose from in Australia, COBA has developed Find-a-bank, an online tool to help you find a mutual bank or credit union that aligns with your needs and values.

The Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Consumer Banking in Australia report is based on extensive research, over 60,000 personal interviews, and analysis of customer satisfaction data across the Australian banking sector in the last 12 months (April 2023 to May 2024). It provides valuable insights into the factors that drive customer satisfaction and the performance of different types of banking institutions.

Overall satisfaction: The satisfaction of all customers with their overall relationship with that financial institution.

MFI customer satisfaction: Satisfaction with overall relationship with Main Financial Institution by customers who regard that institution as their Main Financial Institution. Each respondent can nominate only one financial institution as their Main Financial Institution. Typically, MFI satisfaction tends to be higher than overall satisfaction, as there is a stronger personal connection.

COBA’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael Lawrence, is available for interviews. For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact Mira Palomaki on 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.

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