big four banks
The big four banks enjoy a 62% trust rate, according to Finder survey. Image – Canva.
  • Despite Royal Commission, trust in banks has been increasing since 2019
  • 61% of consumers said they trust the big banks
  • Smaller banks, however, continue to be viewed as more trustworthy than the big players

Despite facing high profile scrutiny from a Royal Commission and often receiving negative net promoter scores, Finder’s Consumer Sentiment Tracker has found that the level of trust in the big Australian banks has, surprisingly, increased over the past few years.

When the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry ended in early 2019, Finder found that just 43% of consumers trusted the big banks.

As of April 2021, this figure now sits at 62%, a result that Finder’s head of consumer research, Graham Cooke, finds “interesting”.

“The initial lockdown seemed to spur fears that smaller banks might fail and may have resulted in a jump in trust of the big banks,” said Mr Cooke.

“Whether it was the compassionate measures taken for those in financial strife or the changes in operating procedures since the Royal Commission, it’s clear that a significant number of Aussies are ready to trust big banks again.”

Graham Cooke, Finder head of consumer research

Trust in small banks remains higher than the big players, a trend that has increased over time, although the levels for small banks fell from 71% in March to 68% in April.

“Aussies naturally trust the smaller players more than the big four – which is a great sign for all the neobanks entering the market,” Mr Cooke added.

“We find these new banks tend to be very popular with younger consumers, who may be the first generation never to sign up for an account with the big four in their lives.”  

Additionally, the survey found that Australians on average are saving close to $900 a month – above the $600 to $700 figure just before the pandemic, a trend Mr Cooke finds highly encouraging.

“Rates are low, but some accounts in the market are offering 20-30 times the interest of others,” he said.

“Mystate Bank has just bucked the trend of banks lowering interest rates and increased its bonus savings rate from 1.10% to 1.20%, a shift consumers hope other banks follow.”

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