Kiwis' best bank for home loans revealed

Mutual bank scoops the award for the fourth year running

Kiwis' best bank for home loans revealed

The Co-operative Bank has snagged Canstar’s Most Satisfied Customers award for the fourth consecutive year, as new Canstar research revealed that a growing number of Kiwi homeowners were worried about repaying their mortgages.

Canstar’s latest survey on home loans, which was taken to find out New Zealanders’ favourite home loan provider, found that 51% of New Zealand homeowners were concerned about repaying their mortgages as home loan rates hit record highs – a dramatic rise from two years ago, when less than a quarter said the same.

Despite the worries, homeowners remained focused on paying off their mortgages, with 45% saying they prioritise paying off their mortgages above other investments and 53% paying more than the minimum amount required or making lump sum repayments.

Jose George (pictured above left), Canstar New Zealand general manager, said The Co-operative Bank’s offer was hugely compelling.

“It is very focused on the borrower experience,” George said. “Customers tell us how pleased they are with the customer service – and this really matters when people are buying a house. Its home loan offers are also highly competitive, and there are significant cashback incentives.

“All of these elements, taken together, place The Co-operative Bank firmly at the top of the table for satisfied customers. Congratulations to the team for this endorsement of their hard work.”

Mark Wilkshire (pictured above right), The Co-operative Bank CEO, said the bank was pleased to receive the award again, most importantly because the award was decided by customers.

“We are delighted that customers have voted us number one again,” Wilkshire said. “As a home-grown co-operative that is owned by its customers, we are committed to putting customers first and consistently providing the best possible customer service - and awards like these show we’re delivering on that promise.”

He said The Co-operative Bank is committed to helping its customers bank better.

“To us, banking better means that our customers don’t have to choose between great customer service and value; they get both,” Wilkshire said.

Canstar’s survey of nearly 1,300 people also revealed that fewer than one in 10 (9%) changed home loan providers to save on rates, despite huge variances in the market.

The current average two-year rate, for example, sits at 7.23%, with the lowest rate in the market at 6.45% and the highest at 8.9%.

Value for money has been identified as one of the biggest drivers of satisfaction for customers, which came as no surprise considering the significance of mortgage debt. Also driving customer satisfaction were application and loan settlement, and customer service, given the stress and uncertainty that comes with buying a house.

The Co-operative Bank scored highly in key categories and was the only bank to get five stars for overall satisfaction.

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