Best and worst banks in South Africa

The South African Customer Satisfaction Index (Sacsi) released its results for banking, which showed that the overall customer satisfaction amongst South African banking consumers declined 2.6% over the past year.

The Sacsi is an independent national benchmark of customer satisfaction of the quality of products and services available to household consumers.

SA banks recorded an overall index satisfaction score of 75.6 out of 100; a statistically significant decline of 2.6% from last year’s score of 77.6 out of 100. The results emanate from research conducted during the 4th quarter of 2013.

The Sacsi surveyed 7,796 randomly selected customers of Absa, Capitec, FNB, Standard Bank, and Nedbank.

Capitec set this year’s overall banking benchmark at 81.5 out of 100. Its customer satisfaction score increased by a statistically significant 3.2% on the 2012 rating and was 7.8% above the industry average.

Following closely behind Capitec, FNB (79.5) shares the industry leader position with a satisfaction score which is 5.1% above industry average.

All the other banks’ satisfaction scores were below industry par, although the scores showed some movement compared to 2012.

In the case of FNB, which marginally enjoyed the top spot over Capitec in 2012, its satisfaction score remained unchanged, whilst Nedbank showed a decline of 5.5%. Standard Bank’s score is down by 3.6% and Absa’s by 4.3%.

This year, the banking satisfaction index was expanded to include additional, focused measurements of banking channels, banking products and private banking.

These do not form part of the calculation of the overall customer satisfaction score for the industry but indicate satisfaction with the various aspects of banking.

Overall bank rankings
Overall bank rankings

Banking Channels

Sacsi expanded its banking industry coverage by adding focused measurements of the main banking channels that are available to SA consumers: ATMs, Branches, Cellphone Banking, Online Banking, Banking Apps and Contact Centres. In the banking channel measure, the Sacsi surveyed 7,337 banking customers about their experiences with the different banking channels.

ATMs – South African consumers did not differentiate between their experiences with ATMs of the different banks. Although FNB has a marginal lead over the industry, and Capitec and Nedbank showed marginally lower ratings, none of the index scores are statistically significant in relation to the industry average.

Branches – Capitec is a clear leader. Its customers gave Capitec branches a satisfaction score of 81.2, which is 7.9% higher than the industry average. The other banks all follow with satisfaction levels that do not show statistical differences from the average for the industry.

Cellphone Banking – FNB leads the Cellphone Banking sphere with a score that is 4.7% higher than industry average. The other banks do not really show any differentiation in their customers’ satisfaction with Cellphone Banking.

Online Banking – FNB leads the industry for online banking satisfaction with consumers rating FNB 7.0% above industry average. Nedbank is on par with the industry, whilst Absa (-6.0), Capitec (-2.8%), and Standard Bank (-4.3%) are all below industry average.

Banking Apps – Banking applications on mobile devices, which put banking capabilities directly in the control of the user, are relatively new innovations in SA. FNB (+6.8%) and Nedbank (+4.3%) take the lead with regard to banking apps. Standard Bank is on par with industry average, whilst Absa lags the industry average by 4.3%. Capitec does not offer a banking app, and was thus excluded in this measure.

Contact Centres – Contact centres have been a long-standing service to support customers with bank-related queries, and it seems that no single bank can boast a high satisfaction rating. All scores are on par with the industry average, save that of Standard Bank which is 6.1% below the average.

Banking channels
Banking channels

Banking Products

In addition to banking channels, the Sacsi surveyed consumers making use of Credit Cards, Home Loans, Personal Loans and Vehicle Finance.

Credit Cards – The survey conducted on 2,073 randomly selected consumers revealed a customer satisfaction score of 73.9 out of 100 with credit cards. The industry benchmark was set by a combined category named “Other” (4.6% above industry average). This category included credit card providers such as Discovery, Investec, Virgin Money, Woolworths and RCS. Also measured were Absa, FNB, Standard Bank (all on par with the industry) and Nedbank (below industry par by 3.3%).

Credit cards
Credit cards

Home Loans – A total of 2,536 SA consumers gave a satisfaction score of 71.9 out of 100 with Home Loans. Included were Absa, FNB, Nedbank, and Standard Bank, with no statistical differences in their scores – all banks are on par with the industry.

Home loans
Home loans

Personal Loans – A random sample of 1,913 SA consumers rated their satisfaction with Personal Loans at 73.9 out of 100. Absa, with a score 6.0% above industry average, shares the industry leader position with Capitec, which has a score 3.1% above industry average. Nedbank and Standard Bank are on par with the industry, and FNB and African Bank are below industry par with scores 4.3% and 9.3% below industry par respectively.

Personal loans
Personal loans

Vehicle Finance – The SAcsi measured 1,477 randomly selected consumers’ satisfaction with their motor vehicle financier, granting the industry a score of 75.6 out of 100. It is significant for vehicle financiers to note the non-differentiation between the various competitors since all scores (Absa, FNB, MFC, Standard Bank, and Wesbank) are on par with the industry average.

Personal finance
Personal finance

Private Banking

To generate a truly comprehensive view of the SA banking industry, the Sacsi surveyed 1 939 private banking customers of Absa, FNB, Investec, Nedbank, RMB, and Standard Bank. The industry was granted a satisfaction score of 67.9 out of 100.

Investec has set the private banking industry benchmark with an impressive score that is 25.0% above industry average. Although Investec enjoys a high satisfaction score, the industry leader position is shared by FNB (+11.5%) and RMB (+7.4%) – impressive scores above industry average. Nedbank and Standard Bank are on par with the industry, and Absa scored lower by -9.7%.

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Best and worst banks in South Africa