However, Forbes may have done the work for us by announcing the world’s top 100 banks. Forbes partnered with market research firm Statista to discard balance sheets and P&L statements and go straight to the source – the customers. 40,000 customers around the globe were asked their opinions on their current and former banking relationships and were asked to rate the banks on general satisfaction, trust, fees, digital services and financial advice amongst other traits. In Australia, the big four banks were nowhere to be seen in Forbes’ top 10. In fact, the top five banks were all customer owned banks and the best bank as listed by Australian customers was Heritage Bank. Heritage has taken out this title two years in a row now. It was also named Australia’s Most Authentic Bank by international analysts JD Power earlier this year. Heritage CEO Peter Lock said of the accolade, “Heritage offers a fantastic package for our members, with great products and rates, supported by amazing levels of genuine, personal service. “We really are a genuine and competitive alternative to banking with a major. “We’re authentic in striving to give our customers the best experience we can. As a customer-owned bank, we’re genuine about putting the interests of our members first, rather than striving to maximise profits.” That’s nice rhetoric, but more practically Heritage has invested heavily in digital platforms and extended its service hours to ensure members can bank when and where they like on a multitude of platforms.” Interestingly, over 4 million Australians now choose to do their banking with a customer owned bank such as Heritage. Competitive Products. Heritage offer a range of competitive products. It’s Discount Variable LVR <=80% home loan offers an interest rate of 2.78 per cent (comparison rate 2.83 per cent). In terms of Fixed Rates, Heritage offers 2.59 per cent on its Fixed Rate loan (comparison rate 4.14 per cent). These are not the cheapest rates on the market, so of you judge a bank by how low its interest rates are Bank Australia may be your best bet with its Clean Energy Home Loan LVR<70% with an interest rate of 1.79 per cent (comparison rate 4.14 per cent) for a fixed rate loan. In terms of variable, the first bank with the lowest rate is mutual bank UniBank whose Classic Home Loan (Special) offers a rate of 2.55 per cent (comparison rate 3.04 per cent). There are cheaper rates still offered by non-bank lenders. InfoChoice compares over 951 variable rate loans and over 554 fixed rate loans. As for personal loans, on a $15,000 five year loan, Heritage offers a rate of 5.99 per cent (comparison rate 6.63 per cent) for its Car Loan product. Horizon Bank’s New car Loan Fixed comes in at 4.99 per cent (comparison rate 5.20 per cent). The first of the big four banks is Commonwealth, with its Secured Car Loan product at an interest rate of 6.99 per cent (comparison rate 8.05 per cent). InfoChoice compares over 62 secured loan products. As for low rate credit cards, the Heritage VISA Gold Low Rate has a very reasonable purchase rate of 10.80 per cent, with no annual fee. It’s not the lowest purchase rate on the market, but it’s nowhere near the 20+ per cent offered by some credit card providers. The lowest rate compared by InfoChoice is the G&C Mutual Bank Low Rate Visa Credit Card with a purchase rate of 7.49 per cent and a $50 annual fee. We could keep going, but you get the picture. Heritage doesn’t have the cheapest products on the market, but it clearly appeals to its customers. Really, the best bank comes down to what you are looking for in a bank: whether it be types of product and what those products offer, cheap rates, the ability to link accounts or old fashioned customer service. Do your research, let InfoChoice help you compare products and make a decision in your best interest. This update is not financial advice. This article is general news and information. Home Loans: The comparison rates are based on a secured loan amount of $150,000 and a term of 25 years. Personal Loans: The comparison rates in this table are based on a loan of $30,000 and a term of 5 years unless otherwise indicated in the product name with^, in which case, the comparison rate is based on a loan of $10,000 and a term of 3 years. The comparison rates are for unsecured personal loans only for the relevant amounts and terms. The comparison rates for car loans and secured personal loans are for secured loans unless indicated otherwise. WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. Comparison rates are not calculated for revolving credit products. The products compared in this article are chosen from a range of offers available to us and are not representative of all the products available in the market and influenced by a range of factors including interest rates, product costs and commercial and sponsorship arrangements InfoChoice compares financial products from 145 banks, credit unions and other financial institutions in Australia. InfoChoice does not compare every product in the market. Some institutions may have a commercial partnership with InfoChoice. Rates are provided by partners and taken from financial institutions websites. We believe all information to be accurate on the date published. InfoChoice strives to update and keep information as accurate as possible. The information contained on this web site is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. Do not interpret the listing order as an endorsement or recommendation from us. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a financial adviser. If you or someone you know is in financial stress, contact the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007.