10 March 2017
Sydney, 9 March 2017: New research released today by the Australian Bankers’ Association has shown that a significant number of customers do switch banks, but there is room for improvement to make it easier.
A survey of 1,000 Australians conducted by Galaxy Research has found that one in six customers has switched their main bank in the past three years. Of these, 68 per cent said it was easy and 21 per cent found it difficult.
The most common reasons for difficulty were too much hassle to change automatic payments and direct debits; the complicated process; and it takes too much time and effort.
Younger customers were more likely to switch banks, with a quarter of all customers aged 18-39 years switching in the past three years, compared to just 8 per cent for customers aged 60 years or over.
The research comes ahead of today’s inaugural ABA Switching Roundtable in Sydney, which brings together banks, consumer groups, regulators and card schemes to better understand views about switching.
The ABA’s Chief Economist and Executive Director – Industry Policy, Tony Pearson, said the roundtable would help banks understand the concerns people have with switching, and work out how to address them.
“The aim of the roundtable is to help us identify new initiatives which would improve the ease and convenience of switching banks or banking products.”
The Switching Roundtable is one of the initiatives in the Better Banking program, launched by the industry in January, to improve the products and services offered to customers.
Other key research findings include:
- Sixty-two per cent of Australians have banking products and services at more than one financial institution, which shows people are taking advantage of the choice available.
- About 10 per cent of people who have not switched their bank say this is because they feel it is too difficult.
- More than half of those who have not switched their bank (58 per cent) say it is because they are comfortable with their current bank.
- Australians feel it would be easier to switch everyday banking accounts or credit cards, than mortgages or personal loans.
Contact: Stephanie Arena 0477 470 677 or Nic Frankham 0435 963 913
“…banks can go back to their normal processes and that is working out what’s right for every single customer, on an individual tailored basis with a proper assessment. That is the best thing for the customer.”
Access to credit opens up opportunities and fulfills aspirations. Getting it right requires the right balance between consumer protections and the flow of credit.
Interviewed by AM’s Peter Ryan, ABA CEO Anna Bligh talked about the substantial drop in loan deferrals since their peak during the pandemic, falling from 900,000 to 300,000.