Banks fighting back on customer satisfaction

Major banks have held ground or improved their customer satisfaction ratings while leading non-bank lenders have slipped, the latest Nielsen Financial Institution Customer Monitor reveals. The survey measures satisfaction with mortgage products and although the highest customer satisfaction in the home loans arena is outside the Big Four, ANZ's rating rose from 78 to 83 per cent between June 2003 and June 2004. Westpac and National Australia Bank remained relatively stable while Commonwealth Bank improved slightly.

Non-bank lenders such as Wizard, Aussie and RAMS have dipped in their customer satisfaction ratings. As the cycle moves away from new loans in a boom market, satisfaction with service levels and flexibility becomes more important particularly for an institution which wants to cross-sell other financial products to its borrowers. The leader in the customer satisfaction stakes is the Bank of Queensland. It has a franchise model that uses in-house third-party brokers with an interest in building long-term relationships to sustain their franchises.