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Bank wars: TSB leads, Kiwibank closes the gap and the big five improve

Despite anecdotal evidence that suggests all banks are sneaky, recent actual research from the June 2010 Roy Morgan New Zealand Banking Customer Satisfaction Survey has revealed positive shifts in the overall satisfaction levels for most of the major banks, with TSB retaining its position at the top of the satisfaction pile, but Kiwibank is on its tail.

Satisfaction reported by customers of the five major banks increased year-on-year by 0.9 percent to 77.6 percent. The biggest improver was the National Bank which rose 2.4 percent, followed by ASB, which was up 2.2  percent.

Among the five major banks, the highest satisfaction scores were achieved by ASB Bank 82.1 percent, followed by National Bank on 81.6 percent and BNZ on 76.6 percent (although surely this will skyrocket after the announcement of an expensive logo redesign).

Despite a well-liked campaign, ANZ’s rating has declined and it’s now at the bottom of the pack, hovering around the 70 percent mark, with Westpac just below the 77.6 percent average of the five major banks. There’s still a big gap between TSB and Kiwibank and the five majors, however, with both banks improving their position over the previous year.

Despite trending downwards recently, TSB retained its position as the bank with the highest satisfaction level at 89.4 percent, while Kiwibank had 85.5 percent satisfaction, although Kiwibank’s satisfaction levels have been on the up in recent months, edging closer to TSB.

Mark Dansey, head of New Zealand operations at Roy Morgan Research, says the results show that positive sentiment towards the major banks is growing.

“While TSB and Kiwibank remain out front in terms of customer satisfaction levels, some of the major banks are showing strong growth. The ASB and National Bank in particular had strong performances in the past year. ASB have the highest satisfaction scores amongst the five major banks. The challenge for all major banks will be to continue this positive recent trend and to close the gap set by TSB and Kiwibank.”

Satisfaction levels for main financial institution (MFI) customers (those who are usually more committed to one bank) are also up. MFI satisfaction for the five major banks was 84 percent, up 1.6 percent against June ’09 and up 3.1 percent against December ’09. The three banks that were driving these lifts were ANZ, ASB and National Bank, with all three having year-on-year increases of around 2.5 percent.

TSB had the highest level of MFI satisfaction at 93.2 percent, although this was down against recent quarters. Kiwibank had a 91.9 percent MFI score, which was up 1.0 percent against the previous year and up 2.8 percent against the March period.

  • If you’ve got a spare $2490, you can download the New Zealand Banking Customer Satisfaction Report by visiting the Roy Morgan Online Store.

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