Finance

“Startling result”: NAB worst hit as bank trust plummets in the wake of the royal commission

Matthew Elmas /

bank trust

NAB chief executive Andrew Thorburn resigned earlier this month. Source: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts.

National Australia Bank (NAB) has emerged as the most distrusted bank in Australia in the immediate wake of the banking royal commission, according to Roy Morgan findings.

Tracking a sharp decline in trust across all four of Australia’s major banks, research firm Roy Morgan says Australians’ views have soured further in the immediate wake of the royal commission.

The findings were taken in the immediate aftermath of Kenneth Hayne’s final banking royal commission report and are drawn from Roy Morgan’s research database.

While a survey on bank trust taken in January, before the release of the report, found 36.9% of Australians distrusted NAB, that figure soared to 53.7% in the week after the report was released.

“This is the highest level of distrust we have ever seen for a bank brand in Australia,” Roy Morgan boss Michele Levine, who has been tracking bank distrust since 2017, said in a statement.

NAB’s net trust score, a measure of respondents who trust a brand versus those who don’t, fell to -42.2%, with only 11.5% of Aussies left trusting the brand.

The other three major banks have maintained net trust scores in the minus twenties, which although isn’t anything to brag about, reveals the effect of commissioner Hayne singling out NAB’s leaders.

NAB chairman Ken Henry and chief executive Andrew Thornburn were forced to resign earlier this month in the wake of the report being released.

NAB has superseded Commonwealth Bank, which in January had the lowest level of trust among the banks and the highest level of distrust.

“This is a startling result for one of Australia’s pre-eminent brands,” Levine said.

“This low level of trust sets a new benchmark for Australia’s banks. The real question is what happens next.

“Without trust, there is no civil society. The Australian population has now expressed their anger and distrust with Australian banks. It is now time to rebuild that trust.”

Since the survey started in 2017, Roy Morgan has asked about 6,000 Australians what they think of the banks, pulled from a survey pool of about 600,000.

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Matthew Elmas

Matthew is the news editor at SmartCompany. You can contact him at [email protected].

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