SA banks with happiest – and most miserable - clients. One bank is making big gains

Business Insider SA
  • New results from an annual survey shows that, of SA's big retail banks, Capitec had the most satisfied clients. 
  • It also had the lowest rate of complaints.
  • Nedbank seems to be making strong headway, the survey found.
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Capitec remains the bank with most satisfied clients, judging from the findings of the 2020 South African Customer Satisfaction Index for banking conducted by research group Consulta. But Nedbank is also making big gains.

Consulta polled almost 12,500 customers on their overall satisfaction with South Africa's big six retail banks.

On overall customer satisfaction, Capitec (84.7 out of 100) scored best, followed by African Bank (83.4), Nedbank (81.1), and FNB (80.2). While Absa (78.6) and Standard Bank (77.7) improved their scores from 2019, they were below the industry average.

Overall customer satisfaction. Source: Consulta

“While Capitec maintains its leader position, it is showing signs of fatigue, with African Bank and Nedbank closing the gap,” found Consulta.

It highlighted gains by Nedbank in particular, which for the second consecutive year outperformed FNB.

“Nedbank's robust and consistent improvement, which has focused on getting its positioning, pricing, messaging, customer-facing, and online channels right, is paying dividends.” A recent market share study by Consulta showed that Nedbank has maintained its market share, while all other banks declined in market share, except for Capitec, which grew by 4%.        

“Alongside Capitec's consistent performance in the customer satisfaction stakes (and also the only bank to grow its market share in the last year), [Capitec and Nedbank] are proving to be the banks to watch as the sector gears up for a massive fight for the consumer's share of mind and wallet,"  Ineke Prinsloo, head of customer insights at Consulta, said.

Capitec has the lowest complaint incidence (only 12% of surveyed clients complained about an issue) and a high resolution rate of complaints (55.4% of customer complaints are satisfactorily resolved).

African Bank has the second-lowest complaint incidence rate (14%) and the highest complaint resolution rate of 60%.

FNB has the highest complaint incidence (23.0%) and the lowest complaint resolution rate (49.8%), followed by Standard Bank, with complaint incidence at 22,5% and a resolution rate of 51.9%.

Customer complaints mostly revolved around account queries, debit orders and payments, card issues, fees, and costs.  

“Banks continue to be poor at preventing repeat causes of complaints and customer dissatisfaction once resolved, which directly correlates with customer loyalty,” Consulta found.

When it comes to whether a banking client would recommend their bank to friends, family, or colleagues, Capitec (56.6%) and African Bank (50.8%) had the highest scores.

When it comes to the perceived value that their bank is offering them,  Capitec leads with 87.7 index points, compared to Absa (73.6) and Standard Bank (74.5).

Consumers are increasingly scrutinising the value they get for their bank charges in a very tough economy, Consulta said.  

The survey also looked at reward programmes, and found that customers commended Standard Bank and Nedbank for their rewards programmes based on their simplicity and cash value.

“It is clear that overly complex programmes that require more effort from consumers to 'earn' rewards will kill any intended value.

“More than ever, consumers are now seeking out monetised value, and they don't want to jump through hoops to get it.“

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