Banking Satisfaction

Compare banking satisfaction in New Zealand at Canstar. SBS Bank, ANZ, ASB Bank, BNZ, Kiwibank, The Co-operative Bank, TSB Bank and Westpac were compared on Overall Satisfaction, Customer Service, Digital Banking, How Problems and Inquiries are Dealt With, Fees and Charges, Product Range, Interest Rates, Self-service Functionality.

Rated brands

Overall satisfaction*

Customer service

Digital banking

How problems and inquiries are dealt with

Fees/charges

Product range

Interest rates

Self-service functionality

More information^

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*Overall satisfaction is an individual rating and not a combined total of all ratings. Brands with equal overall satisfaction ratings are listed in alphabetical order. Canstar research finalised in June 2020, published in July.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers Award | SBS Bank

SBS Bank rated number one for customer satisfaction

You Can Bank on SBS Bank for Customer Satisfaction

SBS wins Canstar Gold’s award for Most Satisfied Customers | Banking

Given the vital role banks play in our day-to-day lives, it’s paramount that we can rely on the institutions we entrust with our finances.

From the cards and cash we spend with, to the mortgages, loans and overdraughts we use to borrow, the services banks provide are the currency of our lives. However, it all comes at a cost. We pay the banks handsomely for their efforts. But are we getting value for money and the customer service we deserve?

As part of our mission to inform consumers of the best NZ has to offer, Canstar Gold canvassed the opinions of 4700 New Zealanders who had one or more accounts or products with a bank, across a range of categories, to measure and track their satisfaction.

To decide which bank offers the best level of customer satisfaction, each was rated across the following categories:

  • Customer Service
  • Digital Banking
  • How Problems and Inquiries are Dealt With
  • Fees and Charges
  • Product Range
  • Interest Rates
  • Self-service Functionality

Coming out on top is SBS Bank. The small challenger bank was the only financial establishment in our ratings to earn a 5 Star Overall Satisfaction rating. It also outperformed all of its competition, with a further five top ratings. The only other banks to earn 5 Star ratings were TSB Bank and The Co-operative bank, which each earned our top rating in these two categories: Digital Banking and Product Range.

What Customers Want

Looking at what drives Kiwis’ satisfaction levels with their banks, it’s intriguing to discover that cost isn’t a major factor! Customer Service (29%) and How Problems and Inquiries are Dealt With (22%) are our main concerns. Fees and Charges (11%) and Interest Rates (8%) rate far less highly.

This is a surprising statistic, but one that can be explained by our research: 36% of respondents in our survey have all their financial products with one bank (34% have their KiwiSaver with their bank, too), and just 4% have switched banks to get a better deal on their credit cards.

Rather than shop around to save money with our banking, we tend to stick to the tried and tested – so service becomes more important than saving money on fees and interest rates.

Overall, the main drivers of satisfaction:

Drivers of satisfaction %
Customer Service 29%
How Problems and Inquiries are Dealt With 22%
Digital Banking 13%
Fees and Charges 11%
Product Range 10%
Interest Rates 8%
Self-service Functionality 7%

Virtual Banking

Although only 7% of those in our survey assert that we no longer need bricks-and-mortar banks, our increased use of online banking is clear from the results of our survey.

Half of our respondents (49%) say they use mobile apps to do their everyday banking, while 42% use their banks online-banking websites. Only 5% still do their banking in a high street branch.

As banks rely less and less on physical locations, and more and more on the digital world, there are increased opportunities for small challenger banks to increase their customer base outside their geographic region.

This is reflected by this year’s winner. Last year, due to its smaller size, the SBS Bank did not appear in Canstar’s ratings. But thanks to new mortgage and credit card products, over the past year, the Invercargill-based bank’s profile has risen significantly, to the point that it’s taken out our top award.

So don’t just set and forget. If you’re after a great deal on your banking, from competitive rates and fees, to consummate customer service, it’s in your interest to change … to the winner of Canstar’s Most Satisfied Customers Award, the SBS Bank.

Canstar Gold surveyed 5250 New Zealand consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers who had one or more accounts or products with a bank. In this case, 4700 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 by mean overall satisfaction. 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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