Better serving banks

LOCAL banks have won out over the big four Australian banks for service in a recent survey by Consumer NZ.

Locally owned TSB Bank came out on top with the survey finding 87 per cent of its customers were very satisfied with its service.

The Co-Operative Bank came in second with a satisfaction score of 82 per cent, followed by Kiwibank with a rating of 71 per cent.

Australian-owned ANZ and ASB ranked last in the survey with a rating of just 52 per cent.

“Both banks rated below-average for value for money and their customers were also more likely to be thinking about switching,” said Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin.

Both banks also stood out for their upselling practices.

The survey found these customers were more likely to report being offered financial products including credit cards without requesting them.

Overall, 27 per cent of customers reported receiving unsolicited offers from their bank for products ranging from insurance to mortgage top-ups.

The most common offers were credit cards and increases in credit card limits.

“While there’s nothing wrong with banks letting their customers know about new products, the practice raises questions for us about the banks’ compliance with their responsible lending obligations,” Ms Chetwin said.

By law, lenders must ensure credit is suitable for borrowers and meets their needs.

“Our survey found less than half of the customers who got these offers thought the product was a good option,” she said.

Of those offered a new credit card or an increase in their card limit, only about one in three thought it suited their needs.

Customer satisfaction scores:

* TSB: 87 per cent

* The Co-operative Bank: 82 per cent

* Kiwibank: 71 per cent

* BNZ: 65 per cent

* Westpac: 55 per cent

* ANZ: 52 per cent

* ASB: 52 per cent

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