Absa and Standard Bank’s big customer satisfaction problem

Consulta has released its 2019 South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SA-csi) for retail banking, which shows that Absa and Standard Bank have the worst customer satisfaction levels.

For this index, Consulta polled 15,000 customers from lower, middle, and upper retail banking segments.

These customers were asked about their overall level of satisfaction with South Africa’s big six retail banks: Absa, African Bank, Capitec, FNB, Nedbank, and Standard Bank.

The SA-csi uses a causal model that links customer expectations, perceived quality, and perceived value to customer satisfaction (the SA-csi score).

For the first time since the inception of the SA-csi for Banking, Nedbank has caught up to FNB, with the former managing to outscore FNB in perceived value specifically.

“African Bank, Capitec, FNB, and Nedbank all hold leader positions. Each of these banks hold a particular, unique, and strong position in the minds of customers,” Consulta said.

African Bank achieved a 7-point improvement from its 2018 score. This puts African Bank into a leadership position.

Absa, who is rebuilding its brand, remained stable. “This is a notable achievement as the bank was in the process of cutting its final ties to Barclays,” Consulta said.

The report shows that Standard Bank had a particularly tough time, struggling to keep up with the competition on customer satisfaction.

Overall Customer Satisfaction Score

African Bank achieved a high customer satisfaction score of 85.7.

Capitec (84.0), followed by Nedbank (80.2) and FNB (79.9) are all in leader positions – and above the industry average (78.2).

While Capitec maintains a leader position off a very high base, it is showing signs of decline.

This, Consulta said, points to the challenges of maintaining customer satisfaction levels when expectations are on the rise.

Nedbank has made consistent improvements over the last five years, achieving a score marginally better than FNB in 2019, it added.

Absa (76.8), although showing slight improvement on its 2018 score, comes in below par, followed by Standard Bank (75.3), who declined on its 2018 score.


2019 South African Customer Satisfaction Index Scores


2018 and 2019 Net Promoter Score

The net promoter score (NPR) is a popular measure of customer loyalty.


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Absa and Standard Bank’s big customer satisfaction problem