Money announces Bank of the Year winner
BANK OF THE YEAR: BANKWEST
For just the second time in this award's 13-year history, the title of Bank of the Year has been taken out by a bank other than one of the big four.
"To be Bank of the Year is no small feat, with the eventual winner having to offer competitive products across home loans, savings accounts, credit cards, business banking and personal loans," says Watson.
"Bankwest's achievement is recognition of the outstanding value they are delivering across their range of products."
Rowan Munchenberg, Bankwest managing director, had this to say about the win: "As the leader of Bankwest, I am very proud of this accolade, which is the result of the great work that all of our people continue to deliver for our customers nationwide.
"I've only been at Bankwest for a relatively short period of time but I've been blown away by our people and their unwavering commitment to our customers and the communities in which we operate.
"I've seen time and again how they keep the customer at the heart of everything they do as we deliver what matters to our customers today, and for generations to come."
Watson says Bankwest performed strongly across all the categories considered but its performance in Money Minder as well as the Home Lender of the Year categories really pushed it to the top.
There are a couple of standout transaction and savings accounts, says Watson.
"Bankwest's Hero Saver offers a total rate of 2.65% with some bonus conditions - a healthy rate in this low-interest-rate environment.
"In addition, Bankwest TeleNet Saver has a standard rate equivalent to the cash rate at 1.5% for those who are wanting more flexibility in how they can access their money."
In the home loan space, Watson singles out Bankwest's Complete Home Loan Package, which he says is currently offering an interest rate of 3.99%. This is 0.29% below the market average for a package variable loan.
Munchenberg says Bankwest is continually evolving to meet changing customer needs and expectations amid challenging economic conditions and intensifying competition.
"We constantly review our product offerings to ensure they are among the most competitive and attractive for consumers nationwide. We also continue to break new ground in Australian banking, beyond traditional products and services," he says.
He gives the example of the home loan application tracker, launched last year, which allows customers to check the details and status of their home loan application using a real-time, 24/7 online service, and receive push notifications at key milestones.
Bankwest plans to continue to evolve and improve its online application options and digital offerings to deliver paperless, real-time trackable experiences that will radically simplify processes, adds Munchenberg.
Runner-up is Commonwealth Bank, which actually owns this year's winner, Bankwest.
"Commonwealth Bank's focus on being Australia's most accessible bank continues to ring true with their win in Mobile Banking Provider of the Year. This is particularly pronounced with a number of innovations they have brought in with bill payments and credit card limit controls," says Watson.
Last year's winner, NAB, has been relegated to third. One of its impressive products is its classic banking account, says Watson.
"With no account-keeping fees it continues to be a point of difference to its peers who require a minimum deposit or a salary credit to receive a similar benefit," he says.
WHY THEY WON Strong performance across all categories considered but in particular transaction and savings accounts and home loans.
TOP PRODUCTS Hero Saver, TeleNet Saver, Complete Home Loan Package
RANKINGS 1. Bankwest 2. Commonwealth Bank 3. NAB 4. Westpac 5. Suncorp Bank 6. St George Bank 7. ANZ 8. BankSA 9. Heritage Bank 10. Bank Australia
To find out more about the Consumer Finance Awards, including the winners of Credit Union of the Year, Building Society of the Year, Non-Bank Home Lender of the Year, Money Minder of the Year, Personal Lender of the Year, Investment Lender of the Year, Non-Bank Investment Lender of the Year, Margin Lender of the Year, and Business Bank of the Year, grab the June issue of Money, on sale now.