Suncorp wins Bank of the Year award for third year in a row
Suncorp achieved a hat trick this year, winning Bank of the Year for the third year straight. It beat finalists Macquarie Bank and Bendigo Bank for the top spot. Macquarie emerged as a new competitor from last year's top 10 while Bendigo finished as a runner-up for the second time.
Banks were judged on a range of criteria including home lending, personal lending, credit cards, investment lending, business bank and money minding.
According to Suncorp Bank acting chief executive Bruce Rush, staying in pole position is the result of a dedicated focus on its customers.
"Both our frontline team and head office staff have a strong culture of customer focus, from customer service to designing products and services," he says.
He says it's vital to always have a competitive offer. Suncorp recently launched a new cashback incentive for people refinancing their loans, and has added $1000 on top of the $2000 and $3000 bonuses for COVID-19 frontline workers.
The pandemic was a time to really focus on customers. Rush says government and industry support, as well as the detrimental impacts of COVID-19, led to an unprecedented number of customers seeking assistance.
"We've moved people around to support that part of the business and also mobilised some of our digital capabilities to make sure forms are easy for customers, rather than making them stay on the phone in peak periods. This has certainly helped our customers."
The team made sure it provided clear, concise and action-oriented information on the website for clients to access easily.
In the early days of the pandemic, branch staff contacted older passbook customers to make sure they could access banking facilities and "that's certainly gone a long way from our customer perspective", says Rush.
Even before this the bank was listening to its customer pain points, and introduced zero monthly account-keeping fees for all for personal and business customer deposit accounts.
"Each year, winning the awards is very important to us to give us a good external benchmark of how we're doing, committing and acting for our customers," he says.
"We haven't felt we needed to do any one thing specifically to retain our position but have acted on customer insight and this year we realised our account-keeping fee had reached a significant pain point for customers. We listened and acted on it. It's not about doing something bigger and bigger, it's about being true to our customer-centric culture and acting on what they want.
"The everyday banking piece is a big and important one for us. The product we have is low fee but also full service. The real-time payment, digital capability and the ability to manage money through various accounts are very strong services and we get good feedback on that."
Rush says the next 12 months for all businesses and for all customers will be challenging. "Clearly there will be changes to the way our customers bank and we'll be there to support them," he says.
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