This is why South Africans are closing their bank accounts – and where they’re going instead

BrandsEye has released it 2018 South African Banking Sentiment Index, revealing which banks’ customers are threatening to bail – and where they would rather bank.

The 2018 South African Banking Sentiment Index analysed consumer social media posts about the five major retail banks from September 2017 to August 2018.

The group analysed over 1.72 million social media posts relating to South Africa’s five retail banks – namely Absa, Capitec, FNB, Nedbank and Standard Bank – across various platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

BrandsEye uses topic analyses to gauge the sentiment of posts (either positive or negative), across 70 topics, and seven broad categories, including reputation, customer service, pricing and customer retention.

Customers threatening to leave

According to BrandsEye, over 30,000 consumers spoke about leaving their bank over the last year, representing 7.3% of the estimated 417,500 consumers who expressed negative sentiment towards banks in 2018.

Nedbank and Standard Bank clients most frequently threatened to leave their banks, while Capitec had the lowest proportion of consumers demonstrating intent to cancel.

Topics driving customer churn

The most frequently cited reasons across the industry for cancelling with a bank were poor turnaround times, accusations of unethical behaviour, billing or payments, as well as telephonic interactions.

Where customers want to go

While Capitec had the lowest volume of conversation about cancelling, FNB received the highest number of positive comparisons to other banks. Furthermore, when consumers claimed that they intended to leave their banks, FNB was most frequently cited in the conversation as an alternative option for consumers.

Across the banks, FNB would appear to have the most to gain from consumers dropping their banks, being the group that most South Africans would switch to. This is particularly true for disgruntled Standard Bank customers.

Standard Bank and Absa are the least likely to absorb leaving customers.


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