Major bank loses 4% of its customers in 12 months

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ANZ has lost 4% of their customers in the last 12 months, the worst figure out of all the major banks, according to Roy Morgan Research Consumer Source Survey.

Despite a strong focus on customer retention, more than a million customers have stopped dealing with a financial institution in the last 12 months. The majority, 855,000 people, ended a relationship with a bank, 65,000 stopped dealing with a credit union, 18,000 dropped a building society and 140,000 ended their relationship with some other financial institution.

While ANZ fared the worst out of the big four, Westpac fell in close behind, losing 3% of their customers, while CBA – who has the largest customer base – lost 2.7% and NAB lost 2.3%.

Among the smaller banks, 5.6% of Bankwest’s customers stopped dealing with them, followed by 5.2% for ING Direct, 3.8% of St George customers and 2.9% of Bendigo Bank customers.

Roy Morgan industry communications director, Norman Morris, says consumers are finding it easier than ever to swap financial institutions and that, while many banks are placing a strong focus on customer relations, it’s getting harder for banks to maintain their client base. However, he notes that the numbers themselves aren’t everything.

 “While tracking and benchmarking the proportion of lost customers is an important measure, it is interesting to note that the potential value of these lost relationships will vary across the banks,” said Morris. 

“For instance, the potential lost opportunity on people who stopped dealing with CBA is the 7.9 financial products they hold anywhere, compared to 8.7 products by those who ended their relationship with ANZ and 10.7 products held on average in total by lost Bankwest customers.”

Morris says it would be helpful for banks to consider which financial institutions their lost customers are now dealing with in order to gain an understanding of the reasons behind their choice.

“For instance, our research shows the key reasons why people switched their main financial institution include high fees and charges, poor service and poor interest rates.”