Satisfaction with banks remains high

RICHARD MEADOWS
Last updated 11:49 05/06/2014
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Bank customer satisfaction is slipping but still at high levels, according to a survey commissioned by the industry's lobby group.

Curia Market Research polled 1014 respondents in March on behalf of the New Zealand Bankers' Association (NZBA), and found 77 per cent were either satisfied or very satisfied with their main bank, with only 9 per cent dissatisfied or very dissatisfied.

Overall satisfaction was down slightly from a similar survey early last year that found 82 per cent were satisfied.

However, NZBA chief executive Kirk Hope said he was pleased more than three-quarters of customers were happy.

Bank customers were also asked what level of bank profit was acceptable.

The 58 per cent of those that answered the question cited a median range of 15 per cent to 19 per cent as an acceptable return on equity.

"That's higher than our banks' actual average return on equity, which was 14.21 per cent in the 2013 financial year," Hope said.

When defending the record profits of recent years, the NZBA has frequently pointed out that banks' return on equity is in line with large, NZX-listed companies.

Sixty-one per cent of respondents agreed the strength of the local banks meant New Zealand had survived the global financial crisis in better shape than other countries. That was down slightly from the 63 per cent who were asked the same question last year.

NZBA said the public's perceptions lined up with local and international analysis.

The latest World Economic Forum's global competitiveness report rated New Zealand banks the second most sound in the world after Canada.

- This story has been corrected

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