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NZ Banks | 2018 Review & Ratings – Canstar Blue

NZ Banks

Compare banks in New Zealand at Canstar Blue. TSB, ANZ, ASB, BNZ, Kiwi Bank, The Co-operative Bank and Westpac were rated on customer service, digital banking, the way problems and inquiries were dealt with, fees/charges, interest rates and overall satisfaction.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers | TSB

Part of the New Zealand financial landscape since 1850, TSB once again takes top honours for Overall Customer Satisfaction.

TSB takes top spot once again

For the second year in a row, it was three New Zealand banks that filled the podium in the Canstar Blue customer satisfaction survey.

This is the fifth time in six years that TSB has taken the overall Customer Satisfaction Award and it was the only organisation to record a maximum five stars across all of the criteria we evaluated.  The Co-operative Bank and Kiwibank each scored four stars.

Customer Service still key

In today’s world of online and mobile banking, good old customer service is still the top driver of satisfaction when it comes to how people rate their banks.  But ‘good customer service’ can be pretty subjective, and as the way we are able to interact with our bank becomes more diverse, financial institutions have had to think a lot bigger than the traditional ‘meet and great’ approach of the old days.

So how are banks keeping up with the changes in customer expectations?

The way we bank has evolved at a stunning pace in recent years.  Now, 82% of people rarely visit a bank, instead conducting most of their banking online via their PC or phone.  To cater for this new wave of customers, as well as those who prefer the more traditional branch visits, banks now have to deliver across a number of disciplines.  Face-to-face, telephone, chatbots, supplying real-time relevant information in a paperless environment, are only a few of the areas where people want easy to access, well executed, top-notch service.  Today’s financial consumers have realised their value and know the levels of services they expect, and in our opinion, banks today have to be a lot more tuned in to how the customer thinks in order to get or keep their business.  This may be why we saw a slight drop (from 75% in 2017 to 70% in 2018) in the number of people who have had the same every day account for more than five years.

Interestingly, although customer service is the highest driver of a consumer’s satisfaction in their bank, only TSB scored a maximum five stars.  This didn’t, however, translate to people taking their business elsewhere with only 4% of people reporting that they had swapped banks in the previous 12 months. This may be down to the common misconception of the ‘hassle’ around moving banks but in reality, it’s surprisingly easy, even if your account is loaded with direct debits and automatic payments.

To set up a new account, simply approach the institution you want to bank with and as long as you can provide the relevant identification (to satisfy anti- money laundering laws), you can set up an account there and then.  Your new bank can then arrange to bring all of your existing payment arrangements to your new account providing you authorise them to do so.  You may want to sort a few of the essentials out yourself – such as getting your wages redirected – but all in all, it’s usually a relatively quick and painless exercise.

Our spending habits

As well as conducting our banking in the virtual world, a lot of us like to spend our cash that way too.

An impressive 78% of people pay via EFTPOS, credit or debit card more often than cash and 34% of people use contactless payments systems such as payWave whenever they can.  Maybe the ease of which we can spend money without ever seeing it is why a whopping 63% of us don’t stick to a budget! Luckily, despite the general lax approach to budgeting, a much lower 15% say that they regularly used their overdraft facility which can be a very costly way to manage your finances.

Our saving habits

In a low interest rate environment like the one we’ve had in New Zealand for the last few years, it can be hard to get motivated to save, but for a lot of us, the big savings goal is a long-term one: retirement.  26% of the women we spoke to said that thinking about their long-term future made them feel uncomfortable but it didn’t necessarily mean they avoided doing anything about it as a slightly higher number of women than men (49% vs 44%) were contributing towards retirement via either KiwiSaver, a private pension scheme or other types of investments.

So, spending or saving, the interactions you have with your bank can be a pretty big influencer on your financial happiness so if you’re not impressed with the service you’re receiving, it might be time to think about a change…

Frequently Asked Questions

Canstar Blue commissioned I-view to survey 2,500 New Zealand consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers who have one or more accounts or products with a bank – in this case, 2,425 New Zealanders.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.

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