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Media releases
12 April 2022

Consumer NZ – customers’ trust eroding for big banks

Consumer NZ’s latest bank satisfaction survey shows almost three quarters (73%) of New Zealanders think banks are charging too much and only half (52%) think they can be trusted, with almost all big banks surveyed scoring either below or close to average for customer satisfaction.

“Trust appears to be eroding in the banking sector in comparison to last year,” Consumer chief executive Jon Duffy said. “Rising cost of living challenges, lower savings rates and other pressures may be contributing factors.”

“Our Sentiment Tracker shows that cost of living is the most concerning issue facing New Zealanders. While the cost of living soars, banks are reporting major profits – which is not going unnoticed by customers. Approximately three out of four customers think the banks are charging too much."

Moreover, a whopping 72% of respondents agreed banks need to be monitored more closely to protect consumers from irresponsible practices.

Consumer NZ banking satisfaction toppers

Consumer’s banking satisfaction survey revealed that two local banks stood out in the survey.

The Co-operative Bank scored 86%, earning above the average of 60% on all five key performance measures of advice on products, fees, responsible lending, timely responses to inquiries, and value for money.

The bank has previously topped the survey in 2019, and for 63% of customers, The Co-operative Bank’s local ownership was the main advantage.

TSB scored 78%, continuing its strong performance from previous years and scoring above average for four of our five key performance measures.

This is the seventh year in a row that TSB has received a People’s Choice endorsement and 82% of their loyal customers said they were unlikely to switch banks any time soon.

The bigger the bank, the bigger the problems

One of the largest banks, Westpac, scored the lowest, followed by ANZ for customer satisfaction. Between the two, they possess a 49.2% market share.

Westpac stood out for the lowest satisfaction rating this year (54%). It scored significantly below average for branch service and had the lowest rating for phone, branch and mobile banking. Of those who had a problem with Westpac in the past 12 months, 69% said complaints were handled poorly.

ANZ’s overall satisfaction score was also below the market average, at 56%. Customers of the largest bank were the least likely to be satisfied with fees and value for money but rated above average for mobile banking.

BNZ, Kiwibank and ASB all scored between 64% and 60%, with no figures above average for any of the key performance measures. However, Kiwibank rated below average for responsible lending and its call centre service.

“Consumers are telling us that the bigger half of the banking industry is doing poorly on customer service,” Duffy said.

“There have been added complications like the change to the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act and the demise of some in-person branches forcing customers online. However, the big banks should note that consumers see a lot of room for improvement.”

Last year, banks reported 98,211 customer complaints to the Banking Ombudsman. Lending-related complaints rose sharply between October and December 2021.

Our survey: Consumer’s bank satisfaction data is sourced from a nationally representative survey of 2428 New Zealanders, aged 18 years and older, carried out online in January and February 2022. Insert link to more info.