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Australia’s least favourite business banks

Australia’s top banks ranked by business customer satisfaction are the Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA) and Westpac (ASX: WBC).

DBM Consultants’ Business Financial Services Monitor (BFSM) conducts interviews every year and ranks the big four for customer satisfaction. Rated out of 10, CBA was the highest with a rating of 7.4 followed closely by Westpac’s 7.3. However, both National Australia Bank (ASX: NAB) and ANZ (ASX: ANZ) both received an average of 7 in the month of June.

DBM managing director, Druba Gupta said that initiative put forward by our two biggest banks has been rewarded with good ratings. “This includes activities such as making relationship managers more accessible and returning calls within 24 hours” Mr Gupta said.

The healthy satisfaction levels can also be attributed to both CBA’s and Westpac’s reliance on domestic customers for revenue. Whilst CBA was busy with BankWest and Westpac was developing its Bank Of Melbourne, Bank SA and St George subsidiaries, NAB and ANZ have focused on international growth prospects.

NAB’s UK and NZ banking contributes 18.2% of revenues whilst ANZ’s ‘Super Regional Strategy’ is on track to meeting its target of 25-30% of revenue by 2017. This compares with CBA’s 96.5% of revenue from Australia and New Zealand and Westpac’s 99%.

Whilst ANZ has been busy axing jobs and cutting costs, Westpac has revitalised its Bank of Melbourne in the past two years and increased the number of branches to 72 throughout Victoria. The CBA has increased its presence in mobile applications such as the development of its commbank app, Kaching, and new business “Pi” application. In addition it has increased the number of ATMs, kept its customer service operators in Australia and introduced new payment systems for small business.

Foolish takeaway

Businesses need happy customers to remain afloat and when times get tough, both the banks and businesses will appreciate the increased level of customer service. However, from an investor’s perspective, CBA and Westpac are too highly leveraged on domestic revenue to provide strong growth in coming years, particularly with a slowdown in mining investment and the lower Australian dollar.

A report released today by The Age shows that NAB’s $8 billion commercial property assets in the UK could be in for a revitalisation in short-term profits, as the troubled British economy shows signs of a tentative recovery. The ANZ has proven time and again that is best placed to take advantage of a booming need for finance in Asia and consistently maintained its position as most efficient domestic lender.

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Motley Fool contributor Owen Raszkiewicz owns shares in ANZ.

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