Satisfaction ratings for all major banks in the micro business segment lifted for the first time in the history of DBM’s Business Financial Services Monitor, suggesting that business can expect to benefit from a buyer’s market.
The monitor, which examines the performance of major banks across all business markets, is based on an annual survey of 19,250 decision-makers in business banking.
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It is the largest survey of its type and the only one that covers micro firms, SMEs, and corporate and institutional businesses using the same performance measures.
According to the latest survey the four major banks achieved increases in whole-of-market business satisfaction, with average satisfaction rising from a score of seven out of 10 in May to a record 7.1 in June.
The trend was driven by improving satisfaction in the micro business market, the largest of the four markets, accounting for nearly nine out of 10 businesses.
Ratings for all four major banks lifted for the first time in the history of the survey and there was a similar improvement in the small business market, with only ANZ failing to lift its average ratings.
According to DBM managing director Dhruba Gupta, the results show that businesses are making the most of a buyer’s market, based on the upward trend in satisfaction to record highs.
“Never before have the figures looked so good,” he says.
“The trend is being assisted by the turnaround in the appetite for business credit over the past few months. Banks have been waiting a long time for demand to improve and we see it as an important new dynamic in business satisfaction.
“With mounting evidence that more businesses are returning to the market for credit the banks are likely to step up the level of competition and we could see further general improvements in satisfaction for some time.
“Business will be the winner, with the banks working harder to attract new business customers.”
Gupta says all banks are trying exceptionally hard to keep existing customers and win over new ones.
“Businesses can be therefore be reasonably demanding in terms of what they expect from their bank with regard to the bank’s competitive proposals … they should expect that the banks will want to give them the best prices,” he says.
According to Gupta the Reserve Bank is also starting to recognise that businesses are struggling in the current economic climate, hence the hold-off on an interest rate rise.