03/02/2009 - 13:09

BankWest, St George risk losing clients

03/02/2009 - 13:09

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

One in six BankWest customers and over 7 per cent of St George customers plan to vote with their feet and leave the bank as a result of the recent corporate activity of their bank, a new poll by Retail Banking Review has revealed.

BankWest, St George risk losing clients

One in six BankWest customers and over 7 per cent of St George customers plan to vote with their feet and leave the bank as a result of the recent corporate activity of their bank, a new poll by Retail Banking Review has revealed.

The poll, conducted by financial services research group CoreData, surveyed 842 consumers, including 453 who consider BankWest, the Commonwealth Bank, St George or Westpac to be their main financial institution.

It found nearly a quarter - 23.3 per cent of BankWest customers and 24.1 per cent of St George customers - report that the merger/takeover has negatively affected their level of satisfaction with the bank, which scored between 0 and 4 on a 10 point scale.

Retail banking expert Charis Palmer says the results reflect concerns from customers that the new parent of their bank will raise fees or move to offer less competitive rates.

"There is a high level of cynicism among Australian bank customers right now, which means any move by the banks to take advantage of reduced competition will be met with the ire of their customers" says Palmer.

"Banks that choose not to pass on interest rate cuts from the Reserve Bank could also be seen to be taking advantage of their increased market power."

The Retail Banking Review/CoreData poll found 57.1 per cent of those surveyed were concerned the merges/takeovers would result in less competitive interest rates (scored 7-10 on a 10 point scale), and 56.9 per cent felt it was likely the mergers/takeovers would result in increased fees.

Nearly half or 47.4 per cent, were concerned the mergers/takeovers would result in reduced competition, and 45.8 per cent thought the mergers would result in a lowering of service quality.

Interestingly, customers of the banks not involved in mergers/takeovers were more concerned about the impact of mergers/takeovers on competition, while Westpac and CBA customers were less concerned about the impacts.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options