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Most Kiwis don't trust their bank, many feel they are charged too much

Kiwis don't have a trusting relationship with their bank and don't feel like they're getting value for money, a new survey has found.

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Consumer NZ chief executive Jon Duffey says New Zealanders don't feel like they're getting value for money from their bank. Source: Breakfast

Consumer NZ’s latest satisfaction survey found nearly one in five Kiwis had a problem with their bank in the past year, with the number of people reporting problems jumping from 11 per cent last year to 18 per cent this year. 

Poor customer service was the most common complaint, with BNZ and ASB banks copping criticism for how their staff handled problems.

The survey found 47 per cent of BNZ and 45 per cent of ASB customers who had a problem felt it was dealt with poorly.

As well, ASB stood out for its lowest overall customer satisfaction score, with only 58 per cent of its customers happy with the service they were getting. The industry average is 64 per cent. 

The survey results also paint a bleak picture about trust, with only 32 per cent of Kiwis feeling like they trust their bank.

"If I was a banking sector employee I would be pretty concerned with the stats around how my customers feel about my relationship with the bank," Consumer NZ chief executive Jon Duffey this morning told Breakfast.

"They're just not trusting the banks and the banking sector has a bit of work to do to regain that trust.

"I guess one of the big factors underpinning that lack of trust is this perception that people aren't getting value for money from their interactions from the bank."

The survey found 47 per cent of respondents strongly agreed banks charge too much.

Overall, more than 100,000 complaints were made to the banking Ombudsman last year.

However, Duffey said there were opportunities for banks.

"There are good things happening in the banking sector, there are certain banks who are doing their best to try and rebuild the relationship, but there's a legacy problem here - there's been years of banks not exactly doing the right thing and not acting in their customers' best interests," he said.

"With all the best will in the world, it's going to take the sector a while to put that perception to bed."

However, the survey did find one smaller bank doing well.

For the second year in a row, TSB was the top bank for customer service, with 82 per cent of its customers very satisfied with the service they were getting from the bank. 

"Customers there are reporting really liking, I guess, a feeling of a more personalised level of customer service and, I guess, there's a warm fuzzy that comes with keeping profits in New Zealand and customers seem to be responding to that," Duffey said.

TSB has been given Consumer NZ’s People’s Choice award.

The survey was taken by 2000 New Zealanders, aged 18 or older, between April and May.