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Regional and online banks big on customer focus

Australia’s regional and online-based banks are winning over consumers with an emphasis on customer experience, value and price competitiveness, finds a survey released today.Customer Service

The inaugural Banking4u rankings, released today by strategic research and intelligence firm Retail Finance Intelligence (RFi), found that small banks such as Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Bankwest and Suncorp consistently scored highly across the categories. The banking service categories includes savings accounts, everyday accounts, loans, credit cards, and home loans that are on offer from financial institutions with more than 2 percent market share. Bendigo and Adelaide Bank was the number one pick across three of the five segments.

Smaller banks are more successful across the categories because they truly engage with their customers, says Research Director for RFi Alan Shields.

“The success of regional and online-based banks can be attributed to customers feeling they have, or can build, a relationship with the institution because there is a perception that it puts the customer at the centre of its business.”

“The top four in each banking services segment are the ones to watch. They are proving they can attract, engage and make their customers happy and, therefore, have the prospect to grow their market share even further.”

The Big Four banks were mostly absent from the top four rankings with the exception of NAB and ANZ.

The presence of these two banks can be attributed to their recent customer-friendly ad campaigns, says Mr Shields.

“Advertising has a significant impact on a consumer’s perception of a bank. For instance, the ANZ ads appeal to customers who want a closer and more personal relationship with their bank, and NAB’s ads focus on the bank keeping fees as low as possible and offering a ‘fair’ deal. This has paid dividends in the Banking4u results,” Mr Shields said.

“To maintain a competitive advantage, banks need to be aware of their competitors and what consumers are looking for,” added Mr Shields.

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Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke

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