Challenger Banks – 2012 Ratings
Posted by Canstar Blue March 15th 2012
* Overall satisfaction is an individual rating and not a combined total of all ratings. Brands with equal overall satisfaction ratings are listed in alphabetical order.
New bank on the block: Heritage wins challenger banking award
In a competitive line up of ten banking brands, relative newcomer Heritage Bank topped the list of challenger banks and received our most satisfied customers award for 2012.
Having recently changed from a building society to a bank, Heritage Bank received an array of five star ratings for overall customer satisfaction, branch service, call centre service, internet banking service, products and pricing, problem solving and friendliness.
They managed their award win ahead of ING Direct, BankSA, Suncorp, ME Bank, Bendigo Bank, Bankwest, BOQ, St. George and Adelaide Bank.
Notably, ING Direct shared two five star ratings: one with ME Bank for their products/pricing, and another with BankSA for their ATM services and availability.
Along with our customer satisfaction results, our survey revealed that the greatest sources of banking customer dissatisfaction were fees and account costs, as well as how interest rates affected their finances.
Despite these grievances, only five percent of surveyed banking customers had switched from their main financial institution in the last twelve months; despite industry advice telling many Australians to find a better deal elsewhere.
Our survey results also looked at major bank brands.
Canstar Blue commissions Colmar Brunton to survey Australian consumers across a range of categories every few months to measure and track customer satisfaction.
The results of the banking ratings reported are from 5,000 banking customers within the survey group where respondents were asked about their main financial institution. Brands must receive at least 30 responses to be included.
Heritage Bank met the challenge for overall customer satisfaction with a five star victory. ING Direct, BankSA, ME Bank and Bendigo Bank received four stars for overall satisfaction, followed by three star recipients Suncorp, Bankwest, BOQ, St. George and Adelaide Bank.
Another five stars went to Heritage Bank, whose customers were most satisfied with the service they received at their bank branch. Next came BankSA, Suncorp, Bendigo Bank and BOQ with four stars each; then ING Direct, Bankwest, St. George and Adelaide Bank with three. ME Bank received two stars for their branch service.
Call centre service
Tying for the top spot for call centre service were Heritage Bank and ING Direct with five stars each. ME Bank, and Bendigo Bank received four stars for this criteria, followed by BankSA, Suncorp, Bankwest, BOQ, St. George and Adelaide Bank with three.
Internet banking service
According to the ABS, the third most popular online activity of 13.3 million internet users was online banking, and the last few years saw financial institutions meet this demand by expanding their online offerings. Heritage Bank received five stars for their internet banking services; followed by ING Direct, BankSA, Suncorp, ME Bank, Bendigo Bank and Bankwest with four stars. BOQ, St. George and Adelaide Bank received three stars each.
Products and pricing
A joint five star rating went to ME Bank, ING Direct and Heritage Bank for their financial products and pricing, followed by four star recipients BankSA and Bendigo Bank. Three stars were awarded to Suncorp, Bankwest, BOQ and St. George, while Adelaide Bank received two stars.
Heritage Bank customers were most satisfied with the way their problems were solved by their financial institution, earning the former building society five stars. They were followed by ING Direct, BankSA, ME Bank and Bendigo Bank with four stars each for problem solving; as well as three star recipients Suncorp, Bankwest, BOQ, St. George and Adelaide Bank.
ATM services and availability
Both ING Direct and BankSA received five star accolades for their ATM services, followed by Suncorp and Bankwest with four stars each. Heritage Bank, ME Bank, Bendigo Bank, BOQ, St. George and Adelaide bank rounded out the list with three stars each.
Financial transactions can sometimes be stressful, but friendly staff can help alleviate such anxieties. Heritage Bank received five stars for their friendliness, followed by ING Direct, BankSA, Suncorp, ME Bank and Bendigo Bank with four stars each. Bankwest, BOQ, St. George and Adelaide Bank received three stars for their friendly atmosphere.