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Westpac and CBA scoring well with micro businesses

The major banks are becoming increasingly different in their approaches to the business banking market, according to recent customer satisfaction results.

According to DBM’s Business Services Monitor, the whole-of-market performance of the four major banks diverged into two groups, with Westpac and The Commonwealth Bank (CBA) leading the pack, trailed by NAB and ANZ, which DBM said is a reflection of the impact of the micro business market.

Westpac slightly extended its lead in business customer satisfaction, with an increase in its satisfaction score from 7.3 in August to 7.4 in September, followed by CBA (steady on 7.2).

Speaking about last month’s results DBM Managing Director Dhruba Gupta said clear differences were emerging among the major banks.

“The major trend over the past 12 months has been NAB’s improvement in the medium and large segments. It has been very successful at increasing its satisfaction scores in these segments where deposit and loan volumes are concentrated. However, NAB’s results in the micro and small segments have been relatively flat for at least 12 months.”

“By contrast, Westpac performs much better in the micro market than the large market. Its scores have consistently improved among micro businesses over the last 12 months, but declined in the large business market in early 2011 and have remained low since.”

In the micro market, CBA and Westpac have cemented their dominance with ANZ and NAB falling behind.

“CBA also has steadily improved in the micro market through 2011, associated with increasing ratings of reputation and service satisfaction, which are key drivers of overall satisfaction,” Gupta said.

Despite NAB’s bottom spot, it retains steady ratings while ANZ’s ratings have declined over the last months.

ANZ and CBA held steady in the small business market while Westpac turned around its declines of the last months. Having once been a long-term leader in the field, Westpac has fallen to share a closely contested, equal ranking with the other three banks.

In the medium business market, the main story is ANZ’s recovery, with its gradual improvement helping it catch up to the other three.

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