Eighty-two percent of Kiwis believe the profits banks make show they’re charging too much, Consumer NZ’s latest bank satisfaction survey has found.

Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin says the survey shows banks’ charges are a cause of complaint for many.

“Sixty percent of bank customers are paying regular account fees. But just 34 percent were very satisfied their bank’s fees were reasonable, the lowest score for any satisfaction measure in our survey.”

Asked how their bank could improve customer satisfaction ratings, offering lower fees and charges was the top option picked by respondents.

However, the survey also revealed customers of local banks were more likely to be satisfied they were getting a good deal.

Eighty-three percent of TSB Bank customers and 65 percent of The Co-operative Bank’s were very satisfied their bank’s fees were reasonable. Forty-five percent of Kiwibank customers were also very satisfied on this measure.

Customers of local banks were also more likely to be satisfied with their bank’s performance overall, Ms Chetwin says.

“As a group, the local banks outperformed the big four Australian-owned banks – ANZ, ASB, BNZ and Westpac.

“Sixty-seven percent of local bank customers were very satisfied with their bank. In comparison, 52 percent of Aussie bank customers were very satisfied.”

TSB Bank was the top individual performer; 83 percent of its customers were very satisfied.

The survey also questioned respondents on their use of technology, such as smartphone banking.

“While banks have put a lot of effort into marketing new technology, our survey found old-fashioned branch banking still has a place for the modern consumer,” Ms Chetwin says.

Eighty-nine percent of respondents used branch banking while just over half were using a smartphone banking app. Internet banking was used by 95 percent of respondents.

Survey results are published in the May issue of Consumer magazine and online at consumer.org.nz.

A nationally representative sample of 1020 New Zealanders aged 18 years and over took part in the online survey conducted between 2 and 13 March. Results based on the total sample for this survey are subject to a maximum margin of error of +/- 3.07 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. Respondents rated the bank they used most for their everyday personal banking.