Trust eroding in big banks - Consumer NZ survey

Source: 1News

Almost three quarters of New Zealanders think banks are charging too much and only half think they can be trusted, according to a new survey.

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Consumer NZ's latest bank satisfaction survey is out and the organisation's chief executive, Jon Duffy, says it appears trust is eroding in the banking sector, in comparison to last year.

Seventy-three per cent of Kiwis think banks are changing too much, while only 52% think they can be trusted.

"Rising cost of living challenges, lower savings rates and other pressures may be contributing factors," Duffy remarked.

Consumer NZ also said 72% of respondents agreed banks need to be monitored more closely to protect consumers from irresponsible practices.

However, two local banks stood out in the survey on satisfaction – The Co-operative Bank and TSB.

The Co-operative Bank scored 86%, which was above the 60% average on five key performance measures – advice on products, fees, responsible lending, timely responses to inquiries and value for money.

The bank previously topped the survey in 2019. For 63% of customers, the bank's local ownership was the main advantage.

Meanwhile, TSB scored 78%, which was also above average, but for four of the five key performance measures.

It is the seventh year in a row the bank has received a People's Choice endorsement from Consumer NZ. Eighty-two per cent of TSB customers say they are unlikely to switch banks any time soon.

Westpac scored the lowest, followed by ANZ, for customer satisfaction. Together, these banks possess 49.2% market share.

Consumer NZ said Westpac had the lowest satisfaction rating – 54% - and also scored significantly below average for branch service.

Westpac also had the lowest rating for phone, branch and mobile banking. Of those who had a problem with Westpac in the past 12 months, 69% said complaints were handled poorly.

Consumer NZ also found ANZ's overall satisfaction score was below the market average, at 56%. Fees and value for money did not score highly either, but the bank did rate above average for mobile banking.

BNZ, Kiwibank and ASB meanwhile all scored between 64% and 60%, with no figures above average for any of the key performance measures.

Consumer NZ found Kiwibank rated below average for responsible lending and its call centre service.

Consumer NZ's data was sourced from a nationally representative survey of 2428 Kiwis aged 18 and over.

The banking satisfaction survey was carried out online in January and February.