2015 Challenger Bank Reviews
These ratings have been archived. For the latest banking ratings, have a look at the current ratings for Challenger Banks.
Find out which bank provides top rated branch service, internet banking and overall customer satisfaction with our challenger bank ratings comparison. You can also visit the CANSTAR website to compare banking products.
* 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.
Canstar Blue research finalised in March 2015, published in April 2015.
Teachers Mutual has our most satisfied customers award in the bank for 2015
Australia’s banking scene is dominated by the traditional ‘Big 4’ banks that – between them – have the majority of Australian banking customers on their books. Despite this, the banking market continues to thrive with a large number of smaller institutions which pride themselves on providing a credible alternative – and in some cases, a better one – to the heavy hitters.
Ninety-one percent of customers who responded to our survey are happy with their smaller bank’s service, but which challenger banks are the ones providing a truly outstanding offering?
What do customers think of their banks’ product range, fees, interest rates and customer service? We’re happy to announce that we’ve found the answers, and an overall winner: Teachers Mutual Bank has achieved our Most Satisfied Customers Award – Challenger Banks, 2015 – emerging victorious from a field of fourteen different institutions.
Read on for a detailed breakdown of how each challenger bank performed.
Customer service is often a strong suit for smaller, more consumer-aware financial institutions, and several of our respondents did particularly well in this regard. Both Heritage Bank and Bendigo Bank achieved five star ratings for the service provided in their branches, and several other brands picked up four-star ratings, namely Teachers Mutual, Suncorp, BOQ, BankSA and Bank of Melbourne.
Call centre service
Are you one of the many people who can’t stand vague, unhelpful phone service? Teachers Mutual may be the bank for you: their call centre service scored five stars for customer satisfaction. Seven other banks achieved four-star ratings for their quality of over-the-phone assistance – Heritage, Bendigo, ING Direct, Suncorp, BOQ, ME Bank and UBank.
Internet banking service
Internet banking is nearly ubiquitous these days, with many (if not most) customers not needing to set foot inside a branch for the majority of their transactions. As such, it’s vital for a bank to have a robust online service, and none were considered more robust than those of BOQ and Teachers Mutual, our five-star winners in this area. Other strong performers with four star ratings were Heritage, Bendigo, ING Direct, Suncorp, ME Bank, BankSA, Bankwest and St. George.
A bank’s range of financial products is their bread and butter, with most offering a comprehensive range of accounts, loans, credit cards and insurance, to name a few. When it came to product diversity, Teachers Mutual once again had the highest satisfaction, scoring the maximum five-star rating, and they were closely followed by four-star achievers Heritage, Suncorp and BOQ.
Inquiry and problem handling
Products such as insurance, compounding interest accounts and credit cards can often be complex and have many conditions, so a good measure of a bank’s mettle is the way they respond to requests and problems from customers. Teachers Mutual Bank once again proved to be the institution with the most satisfied customers when it came to how they handled people’s banking issues, being the only five-star rating awardee. Next up with four-star ratings were the likes of UBank, BOQ, Suncorp, Heritage, Bendigo and ING Direct.
Fees and charges
A significant contributor to overall satisfaction was how reasonable banks’ fees were for products such as credit cards and savings accounts. The highest rated challenger bank in this instance was UBank with five stars, suggesting they are the most affordable institution when it comes to extra charges. Teachers Mutual, ING Direct and ME Bank also performed well, securing four-star ratings.
A few tenths of a percent on your interest rate can mean hundreds or even thousands of dollars more in your pocket over the long term; whether it’s a savings account or a home loan, everyone’s looking for the bank with the best interest rates. The winner here was ME Bank, who had the most satisfied customers and scored our five-star rating, and notable performances came from Teachers Mutual, Heritage Bank and UBank which all achieved four stars.
Frequently Asked Questions
Canstar Blue commissions Colmar Brunton to regularly survey 3,000 Australian consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction; with banks being one of our largest categories, the sample size in this case was 6,000. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have one or more accounts or products with a challenger bank, such as a transactions account, savings account, home loan and so on – in this case, 1,769 Australians.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.