South Africa’s private banking customers have rated Investec, FNB and RMB as leaders in private banking in the latest South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi) which measured the satisfaction of 3,089 private banking clients. Absa, Standard Bank and Nedbank recorded scores on par with the average customer satisfaction score of 70.3 out of 100.
SAcsi is an independent measure of customer satisfaction with various industries which is released at regular intervals throughout the year by Consulta Research. The research was conducted in the last quarter of 2014.
Prof. Adré Schreuder, founder of SAcsi and CEO of Consulta Research, says that Investec has set the benchmark among private banking clients with a score of 78.8 out of 100, which is significantly higher than the industry average of 70.3 out of 100. He cautions that the sample sizes for the some of the banks are smaller than the SAcsi’s preferred sample size of 270 respondents per brand. “A smaller sample size introduces variance into the score, but we have taken this into account via the confidence intervals for the respective scores,” he explains.
RMB and FNB have also posted impressive performances which place them in leadership positions along with Investec. While Investec retained its leadership position, its private banking customers gave the bank a significantly lower score this year.
Absa has improved its satisfaction score by a whopping 7.8 points since last year. “This echoes the significant improvement in Absa’s SAcsi performance for general banking which we released last week. Clearly there is a concerted effort at Absa to drive customer satisfaction across the bank,” says Prof. Schreuder.
Private banking clients have high expectations, which organisations often interpret as a danger out of fear that it will be difficult to meet them. But there is another side to the coin. “Expectations are ultimately a result of experience and marketing/brand promises. In other words, if customers experience good service then they will expect good service in the future,” says Prof. Schreuder.
Customers indicated that Investec, RMB and Standard Bank offered the highest quality in private banking, while Standard Bank has seen a noticeable increase in its value ratings,” he says.
Absa’s private banking customers are notably more loyal this year and Standard Bank’s private banking loyalty scores have improved.
SAcsi also tracks the well known Net Promoter Score (NPS), which describes the likelihood of customers recommending a particular bank. The NPS has increased by 6% for the private banking industry. “Investec has the highest NPS of its peers, followed by FNB and RMB,” says Prof. Schreuder.
Prof. Schreuder has some advice for banks: “Connect, communicate and collaborate with your customers. There is a high incidence of complaints among private banking customers yet only Standard Bank improved its complaints handling since last year. Customer retention should be a priority,” he concludes.