Small Business customers like NAB and St George

The monthly Business Banking Customer Satisfaction Monitor published by East & Partners shows that small businesses rate their banks, as of November 2009, at 4.44 on a scale that ranges up to 10. The indicator has declined consistently over 18 months.

East also point out, in a research note published yesterday, that two of the big four banks now score lower than three on this monitor. NAB, however, rates most highly of the four. NAB leads the major banks with a score of 6.53, a similar ranking to St George, and has done so for around 15 months.

Joseph Healy, group executive NAB Business Banking said yesterday that “I do accept that SMEs have become increasingly dissatisfied with banks” but suggested that the annoyance was not solely due to increased margins on business loans.

“I think this [penalty fees] is a large part [of the reason], though. In large part it is because of the way that banks conducted themselves over the last 12 to 18 month during a time when the economy was much more uncertain.

Business customers, and SMEs in particular, were very concerned about the profits of the bank and the pricing of risk, and the terms and conditions that we’re trying to negate. Banks have not acquitted themselves well … in what was a challenging 12 to 18 months.”

Source: Banking Day