Only one in four Kiwis would go to banks for financial advice

Survey highlights ongoing distrust of banks despite regulatory effort to change perceptions

Only one in four Kiwis would go to banks for financial advice

A new survey has revealed that relatively few customers think banks are a good place to go for financial advice, while also highlighting some ‘alarming’ figures around their budgeting and spending habits.

Canstar’s Banking Satisfaction Survey showed that only 27% of their 2500 participants saw their bank as a good go-to for financial advice, while over 40% didn’t know what they spent each month and 60% didn’t stick to a budget. Two thirds of customers (68%) didn’t have any long-term savings plans in place, and 94% said bank branches were still necessary despite the rise of online banking.

These results may mean the ongoing bank conduct and culture review hasn’t had much impact in shifting customer perceptions, and Canstar general manager Jose George says this throws up questions about whether the industry’s messages around saving for retirement are really getting through.

When it comes to overall customer satisfaction, George says only one bank – The Co-operative Bank – has scored well on all of its measures.

“Customer feedback indicates that customer service, digital banking and problem resolution are the biggest drivers of satisfaction,” George explained.

“The Co-operative Bank was the only bank to score five stars for all three. This is a great achievement for The Co-operative Bank, which has been recognised as a market leader in banking satisfaction for the fourth time in the last eight years.”

Commenting on the recognition, CEO David Cunningham said: “As CEO, if a customer raises an issue with me, I will pick up the phone and call them, and take ownership for resolving the issue. It often surprises customers that the CEO rings them, but it reflects the culture of The Co-operative Bank, with everyone caring deeply about the experience we provide our customers.”

The banking satisfaction survey compared The Co-operative bank, ANZ, ASB, BNZ, Kiwibank, TSB and Westpac on nine different measures including customer service, fees/charges, interest rates and overall satisfaction.