Trust in Australia’s big banks is at an all-time low and rightly so given all that has played out at the Banking Royal Commission. Based on data from DBM Consultants, over two-thirds of Australians would like the Commission to be extended, even after the many shocking revelations that have been plastered throughout media platforms for the best part of a year. Unsurprisingly, DBM Consultants Consumer Atlas data also reflects strong dips in satisfaction and reputation scores for banks post and during the Commission, findings very similar to the inaugural Deloitte Trust Survey.

These damning and widespread revelations have exposed an unequivocal need for real reform in the banking industry. The CEOs of all major banks have acknowledged mistakes were made and have promised a cultural overhaul, assuring the public of a ‘back to basics’ approach placing the customer’s wellbeing at the centre. However even with the best of intentions, these reforms won’t happen overnight, the amount of damage caused and trust broken could take years to recover.

However, in our modern era of instant response and gratification, the public will expect quick action and results. The cost of the banks not beginning to take these steps is huge, brand reputation is closely linked to profits. At DBM Consultants, we have seen a rise in customers switching away from major banks post and during the Commission, being quite rightly wooed by smaller banks who are treating the revelations as a commercial opportunity to gain market share. These smaller banks are preaching a simple message: we listen to our customers, and we put them first. To reclaim trust and rebuild their reputation, among other things, the big banks need to pay attention.

This is how the Australian majors can begin to look beyond the Banking Royal Commission:

1. Take responsibility with authenticity

Open communication goes a long way. Reach out to your customers and tell them what went wrong over the years and how you plan to fix it. As a customer and shareholder of 2 of the Big 4 banks, I am disappointed that only one of them has reached out to me to take ownership and share a plan to improve.

Even with the bank that did reach out, it stopped with just a solitary email. Don’t leave your customers in the dark, certainly not at time like this. Be open, honest and transparent about the changes you are making and how the customer is likely to be impacted.

2. Tell your story through your advocates

If you followed the Banking Royal Commission hearings you would be aware that a great number of people have had their financial comfort not only put at risk but overtly damaged. There are bankers who succumbed to greed and aggressive targets and forgot the customer. However, banking is no different from any other industry that delivers a service to its customers.

I have worked in a customer facing team in a bank at a call centre. Being part of a team that answered over a million calls per month, I can tell a thousand stories where lives were changed because a bank employee went above and beyond.  Australia needs to hear those stories too. DBM Consultants data shows that there are strong advocates who have continued to support their banks through these tough times. The banks need to reach out to their supporters and let them share their stories too.

3. Ask your customers

Re-building transactional relationships after trust has been broken should be no different than restoring broken personal relationships. In these particularly trying circumstances, all communication should have a personal feel to it. Get to know your customers. What are they trying to tell you? As a research professional, I can’t emphasise this more. It is exceptionally important to understand and appreciate customer sentiment using research and advanced analytics.

It is critical to be made aware of the themes in comments and complaints and make sure these issues are addressed in a timely manner. A lot of effort is being directed towards what went wrong and how it went wrong, however it shouldn’t have taken as much time as it did for these revelations to come to light. This became the case because no one was listening to the customer, whispers became chatter which turned into screams before mistreated customers were heard.

The banks, beleaguered as they have been in recent times are surely listening now, and they will need to continually receive and respond to detailed, consistent customer feedback moving forward as this is the only real way to repair the damage done.

Gazal Kapoor - Client Director, DBM Consultants.

April 4, 2023
Diversis-backed RFI Global acquires DBM’s Atlas division, to create Australia’s most comprehensive financial services customer data set.

Sydney 5th April 2023 – Embargoed until 00:01 AM AEST on […]

Read More
April 21, 2022
SMEs and emissions reductions

A recent study of DBM Connect panelists reveals SME attitudes towards emissions, how their business is responding to the emissions challenge, and their expectations of suppliers and business partners.

Read More
February 4, 2022
Q&A: Celebrating 30 years of DBM Consultants

This year marks 30 years of DBM Consultants.

Read More
December 3, 2021
Financial uncertainty amid the pandemic fuels a rise in Buy Now, Pay Later services in Australia

By Tony Williams, Executive Director, DBM Consultants & Lucas Carreras, […]

Read More
November 17, 2021
DBM Star Profile: Logan Walsh

Media Products Manager Logan Walsh

Read More
July 16, 2021
How to boost marketing ROI for financial services - FAST

DBM Managing Director Dhruba Gupta shares 2 fundamental things financial services marketers should know to boost marketing ROI.

Read More
May 17, 2021
Switching providers or sticking it out? Consumer trends since COVID19

With more people working from home since lockdown, expectations and attitudes relating to bill increases in utilities, telco and insurance have changed.

Read More
March 7, 2021
5 ways DBM is leading the charge for workplace gender equality

DBM Connect 2021 IWD Poll February-March 2021, sample size 1046.

Read More
February 21, 2021
When to DIY (your market research survey) and not

When to DIY (your Market research survey) or not

Read More
November 24, 2020
More transparency around member satisfaction of super funds required to empower consumer choice

While super funds will next year be held to a […]

Read More
September 28, 2020
DBM partners with Nielsen to launch DBM Atlas + Media Profiler

Unlocks deeper consumer profiling, specifically for the financial services sector […]

Read More
August 28, 2020
Download this DBM COVID-19 Insights Report

DBM tracks financial services usage and behaviour monthly (for both […]

Read More
August 18, 2020
DBM researchers reveal links between advocacy and the predictability of future customer behaviour

Dhruba Gupta, Founder and Managing Director of DBM presented the […]

Read More
June 24, 2020
Signs of Opportunism Amongst First Home Buyers

The latest DBM Atlas data has revealed that renters are […]

Read More
April 9, 2020
Business Owners Urged To Start Positioning Themselves For The Recovery

While the implications of COVID-19 have only become apparent to […]

Read More
March 9, 2020
Australia's banking customers to crown their 'Best Neobank'

In a first for the Australian market, a survey of […]

Read More
March 5, 2020
Excellence in Financial Services on show at DBM Australian Financial Awards 2020

5th March 2020 The 2020 DBM Australian Financial Awards were presented in […]

Read More
February 10, 2020
DBM and Eyeota create peerless Digital Audiences for Financial Services Marketers

Eyeota, the leading audience technology platform enabling the intelligent use […]

Read More
February 3, 2020
DBM appoints Kipling Zubevich as new CEO

DBM has today appointed Kipling Zubevich as CEO, tasked with […]

Read More
January 21, 2020
A new year. A new decade. A new look.

It’s 2020, and we’re celebrating with a brand new logo. […]

Read More
December 17, 2019
DBM wins Australia/New Zealand Consultancy of the Year award

DBM are thrilled to announce being honoured at the Campaign […]

Read More
October 21, 2019
Sick of spiralling into more debt with Afterpay? Why not try 'beforepay'

There's a new kid on the block targeting millennials living […]

Read More
October 4, 2019
We signed up to 4 Aussie neobanks. Here's what happened

For all the media coverage, chatter and Twitter emojis, do […]

Read More
August 13, 2019
Australian business confidence slides to record lows

The Winter 2019 DBM In Full Focus report – an […]

Read More
April 17, 2019
DBM Financial Wellbeing Index reveals caution among Australians

The financial confidence of both the general public and businesses […]

Read More
April 8, 2019
Australian businesses rapidly losing confidence

The latest DBM In Full Focus report - an insight […]

Read More
March 20, 2019
Neobanks vs the Big banks - how real is the threat?

It’s no secret that 2018 was a tumultuous year for […]

Read More
February 28, 2019
DBM Australian Financial Awards 2019

The 2019 DBM Australian Financial Awards were presented in Sydney […]

Read More
February 7, 2019
Financial Inequality Declining in Australia

Findings from ME Bank's 15th bi-annual Household Financial Comfort report (HFCR), […]

Read More
December 11, 2018
Looking Beyond the Banking Royal Commission

Trust in Australia’s big banks is at an all-time low […]

Read More
November 16, 2018
Top Three Tips From a Woman in Research

I can easily cite the statistics on women in the […]

Read More
November 7, 2018
Alarming number of Australians intend to switch their Private Health Insurance

New findings show an estimated 220,000 Australians intend to switch […]

Read More
September 3, 2018
AMP Customer Crisis Deepens

Increasing numbers of superannuation customers are expressing their dissatisfaction with […]

Read More
August 10, 2018
AMP Suffering Significant Reputational Damage

AMP’s Net Promoter Score (NPS*) has plummeted 10 points since […]

Read More
August 1, 2018
Gen Z - Banking's Newest Battleground

According to the latest Consumer Atlas results, financial institutions separate […]

Read More
July 26, 2018
One In Two Australians Missing Out On Multi Policy Discounts

Research by DBM Consultants using Consumer ATLAS data reveals that […]

Read More
July 20, 2018
Overseas born Australian residents turning away from Big 4 banks

New results from DBM Consultants show that market share and […]

Read More
July 13, 2018
Fewer Australians Have Home Insurance

New findings from DBM Consultants’ Consumer Atlas reveal that fewer […]

Read More
July 5, 2018
Big 4 Reputation at "lowest level recorded"

Latest survey confirms damage done to Big 4 banks in […]

Read More
November 21, 2017
Up to $100 billion of owner occupied mortgages up for grabs as customers look for alternatives.

With the owner occupier mortgage market worth about $1 trillion, […]

Read More
November 20, 2017
Close to 350,000 Australians have Pet Insurance before Private Health Insurance

You might find this hard to believe, but a sizeable […]

Read More
October 3, 2017
Investor Property lender ratings vary widely across the nation

Investor property mortgages undergo high levels of scrutiny from the […]

Read More

Find Out More

Chat To Our Team
DBM logo_white