South Africa’s best and worst banks according to customers

 ·27 Mar 2019
Nedbank, Absa, Standard Bank, Capitec, FNB

The latest South African Consumer Satisfaction Index for the country’s retail banks has been published, showing which local banking groups are best at keeping their customers happy.

The index compiled by consulting group Consulta, which provides insights into the overall level of satisfaction of customers of South Africa’s big six retail banks – Capitec, FNB, Nedbank, Absa, Standard Bank and African Bank.

“Traditional banks are facing steadily increasing customer expectations while struggling to consistently get the basics right that underpin the most fundamental aspects of customer satisfaction,” the group said.

This comes as these banks face intense competition and disruption from new entrants such as Discovery Bank, Bank Zero and TymeBank.

“In such an environment, customer satisfaction is a deal breaker when it comes to how much market share is lost to new entrants.”

In the latest index, Capitec once again leads the overall customer satisfaction score across all brands by a significant margin for the sixth consecutive year, although with a slight decline on its previous score.

Capitec is followed by FNB, also in a leader position, and Nedbank and African Bank overall ‘on par’ with the industry average for 2018. Absa and Standard Bank follow in a benchmark category that places them below industry average.

“Capitec continues to perform exceptionally well in terms of overall customer satisfaction. Expectations are always based on personal need of the consumer, and Capitec has nailed it in terms of understanding its target markets, their needs, and how the value proposition filters into that,” Consulta said.

“The Capitec promise of simple, easy, and affordable banking is strongly backed by its ability to deliver in terms of processes, people, and systems.”

Capitec and FNB both have high customer expectation scores which are testament to their strong performance in past measures, it said.

“Absa is experiencing what is known as the ‘halo’ effect from its major brand relaunch in 2018, indicated by the increase in its customer expectation score in 2018. However, it is under heavy pressure to meet these increased expectations and is currently barely meeting customer’s expectations.”

Importantly, actual customer experience in all aspects of their banking operations needs to reflect the promises made in the brand relaunch, the consultancy group said.

“Standard Bank’s turn-around strategy has seen the biggest improvement in customer perception among all brands (+5.1 since 2016), although every year of improvement is followed by a commensurate increase in expectations.”

# Bank 2018 score 2019 score Change
1 Capitec 85.3 84.9 -0.4
2 FNB 81.0 81.5 +0.5
3 Nedbank 76.3 79.3 +3.0
Industry Average 77.0 78.8 +1.8
4 African Bank 81.0 78.1 -2.9
5 Standard Bank 75.2 77.0 +1.8
6 Absa 73.3 76.3 +3.0

According to Consulta, the SA-csi for banks is the largest and most comprehensive survey of its kind for the banking sector on a national basis, surveying 15,542 consumers from lower, middle and upper retail banking segments.

The SA-csi is a causal model that links customer expectations, perceived quality, and perceived value to customer satisfaction (the SA-csi score), which in turn is linked to customer complaints (and recovery), and customer loyalty intentions.

“As banking moves through technological disruption and competition intensifies, customer expectations continue to increase. Banking will be heavily tested with the fierce competition amongst current players as well as the entrance of new ‘disruptor’ banks,” Consulta said.

Read: Discovery Bank hints at fee structure

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