The latest satisfaction survey results released by RoyMorgan Research shows that customers of the National Bank held a significantly better view of their bank than did the customers of the ANZ.
The August 2012 data showed that 80.7% of their customers were "very or fairly satisfied" with the National Bank, while 74.7% of ANZ customers held that opinion of their bank.
But while ANZ still trails the others it has improved substantially since 2003 when it took over the National Bank.
In fact, ANZ's customer satisfaction percentage stood below 60% when this survey started in 2002. The August 2012 represents the biggest improvement of any bank in the survey.
A feature of this ten year review is how the under-performing institutions have lifted their game toward the higher-performing competitors. There has been little industy slippage.
In fact, one bank - the BNZ - has now joined the league of the perennial top performers. In 2002 the BNZ rated a score of about 65%, and has lifted that to 82.1% in August 2012, the second highest in this survey.
Kiwibank has maintained the highest customer satisfaction for the past two years among New Zealand’s six major banks.
"Amidst discussion about the National Bank brand being dropped, it is interesting to note that since 2003 when the ANZ bought the National Bank, satisfaction levels among National Bank customers are similar to those recorded in 2003 when ANZ bought the National Bank. The chart above shows some ‘ups and downs’, but overall the takeover has not negatively impacted National Bank satisfaction levels," said Michele Levine CEO, Roy Morgan Research.
Roy Morgan Research also monitors customer behaviour, and attitudes and demographic profiles.
This research shows that the two banks have similar numbers of customers - National has a banking relationship of some kind with 21% of New Zealanders aged 14 plus and ANZ has a relationship with 20%.
However based on $ value the National Bank market share is higher - around 16% while the ANZ is around 11% - due to the National Bank’s customer profile - more products and a higher dollar value per customer.
National Bank customers are also somewhat more affluent than ANZ customers with higher average incomes, higher levels of tertiary qualifications and higher levels of employment in professional and managerial positions.
"It is also important to remember that the banking market in New Zealand is not standing still," said Levene. "Kiwi Bank has increased its position in the market at the expense of other banks."
"The Roy Morgan State of the Nation shows New Zealanders are changing the way they bank - fewer are visiting branches (52% now visit a bank branch in an average four week period, down from 62% over a decade ago) and 48% are now using the internet to bank. So banks are having to invest heavily in technology platforms to provide the services their customers need and want."
“Brand changes are always undertaken with a degree of trepidation as the relationship between brand and customer is complex and generally enduring and is often little understood. Our experience at Roy Morgan Research is that those banks who takeover other strong brands successfully are those who understand their customers and those of their takeover and communicate with them and satisfy their needs and wants better than any other competitor."