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Media release
17 June 2021

Media release: Bank complaints on the rise, Consumer NZ’s survey shows

Nearly one in five Kiwis had a problem with their bank in the past year, Consumer NZ’s latest satisfaction survey finds.

Consumer NZ chief executive Jon Duffy said the number of bank customers reporting problems had jumped to 18%, up from 11% in 2020.

Poor customer service was the most common complaint, he said.

Two big banks, ASB and BNZ, copped criticism from customers for the way they handled problems.

Among ASB customers who had experienced a problem in the past 12 months, 45% felt it had been dealt with poorly. The figure for BNZ was 47%.

ASB also stood out in Consumer NZ’s survey for the lowest overall customer satisfaction score. Fifty-eight percent of its customers were happy with the service they were getting, significantly below the industry average of 64%.

For the second year in a row, TSB was the top bank for customer service. Eighty-two percent of its customers were very satisfied with the service they were getting from the bank.

“TSB customers were also very loyal – nine out of 10 said they were unlikely to switch banks anytime soon,” Duffy said.

TSB has been given Consumer NZ’s People’s Choice award.

Duffy said the survey showed there was a lot of room for improvement in the industry. Last year, New Zealand banks reported 100,067 customer complaints to the Banking Ombudsman.

Just 32% of consumers strongly agreed banks can be trusted.

“The industry still has a lot of work to do to lift customer satisfaction, address customer complaints and gain trust,” Duffy said.

The survey found that 47% of New Zealanders strongly agreed the profits banks make show that they’re charging too much.

One in five banking customers felt the banks had their best interests at heart.

About Consumer NZ’s survey

Consumer NZ’s survey was a nationally representative survey of 2000 New Zealanders, aged 18 years and older, carried out online in April and May 2021. Satisfaction ratings report the proportion of respondents who scored their bank 8, 9 or 10 on a scale from 0 (very dissatisfied) to 10 (very satisfied).

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