2013 – Major Banks Ratings

Posted by Canstar Blue March 25th 2013

You are viewing the archived 2013 award for the big four banks. Go to the current major bank ratings.

See Our Ratings Methodology.

Two in five prefer communicating online with their banks

Most Satisfied Customers - Major Banks, 2013Which is preferable: heading down to your local bank branch to sort out your finances … or tackling the task from your home computer?

For 43% of banking customers who responded to our recent survey, using their bank’s website was the preferred method to communicate, while 36% would rather visit their local branch.

Generation X respondents were most likely (47%) to be in favour of using online banking for this purpose, while this figure was slightly lower for Baby Boomers at 40%.

When it came to looking at how people are actually communicating with their bank, branch service was the channel most used by our respondents, demonstrating that the personal touch is still important. Sixty two percent of those people who completed our survey had visited a branch while 59% used their institution’s website.

Call centres ranked third as the communication channel most used, with 32% of respondents taking up this option. Other channels such as email and personal banking managers are being used less often, at eleven and seven percent respectively.

The results also showed more Australian men were comfortable with their financial management skills than women:

  • Half of our female survey respondents considered financial management as “stressful and overwhelming”, compared to 35% of males.
  • Fifty three percent of women felt uncomfortable discussing or thinking about their long-term financial future, compared to 43% of men.

Thinking about money can be stressful … but it doesn’t have to be. For some consumers, the size and stability of a major bank can make them the best choice for helping you manage your money better. This year, Westpac received our Most Satisfied Customers Award for Major Banks – 2013 when rated alongside National Australia Bank (NAB), Commonwealth Bank and ANZ.

Our banking survey also rated customer satisfaction with challenger bank brands.

All of our rated brands deserve praise for their five star ratings:

  • Westpac was the top achiever; earning five stars for overall satisfaction, branch service, call centre service, internet banking and friendliness.
  • ANZ received five stars for branch service,
  • Commonwealth Bank received five stars for internet banking, mobile banking, branch service and friendliness, and
  • NAB achieved five stars for branch service, range of products and mobile banking.

Canstar Blue commissioned Colmar Brunton to survey 5,000 Australian consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from respondents within the survey group – in this case, 3,058 people – who have one or more accounts or products (e.g. transaction account, savings account, credit card, home loan) with one of the major financial institutions (i.e. Westpac, NAB, Commonwealth Bank or ANZ).

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands that received three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10.

Overall customer satisfaction

Westpac topped the list of major banks when it came to overall customer satisfaction, earning the big-four player five stars in this category. Commonwealth Bank, NAB and ANZ all achieved four star ratings for overall customer satisfaction.

Branch service

Good branch service can be crucial when customers are making important financial decisions. All of the major banks in our survey excelled in this regard – with NAB, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and ANZ all receiving five star ratings.

Call centre service

Only one brand achieved a five star rating for call centre service however, with Westpac leading the charge for customer satisfaction over the phone. Commonwealth Bank and NAB both received four star ratings in this area, and ANZ achieved three.

Internet banking service

Customers of both Westpac and Commonwealth Bank were most satisfied with their institution’s internet banking services, with each brand receiving five star ratings. Both NAB and ANZ followed with four star ratings.

Product range

NAB was the frontrunner for customer satisfaction with a bank’s product range, earning the brand five stars. Next were Westpac, ANZ and Commonwealth Bank with four stars each.

Mobile banking

While internet banking has certainly become particularly popular in the last few years, so has ‘banking on-the-go’ or ‘mobile banking’ – thanks largely to smartphones. Both Commonwealth Bank and NAB have done well in this area; each brand receiving five stars for mobile banking. Both Westpac and ANZ followed with four star ratings.

Fees / charges

NAB customers were most satisfied with the fees and charges attached to their accounts. Following the four star brand were our two star recipients for fees and charges: Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and ANZ.


Both Westpac and Commonwealth Bank achieved top scores for friendliness in this survey, out-smiling the competition with five star ratings. NAB earned four stars in this area, while ANZ took home three stars.

Past Ratings
Major Banks (2010)
Major Banks (2011)
Major Banks (2012)
Major Banks (2013)
Challenger Banks (2010)
Challenger Banks (2011)
Challenger Banks (2012)
Challenger Banks (2013)