The National Australia Bank was the biggest loser from the banking royal commission, Roy Morgan research has claimed.
In its latest Net Trust Score Survey, the research house claimed all the banks had seen a slump in their net trust score, but the NAB, which received the greatest criticism in the royal commission’s report, was the greatest casualty.
The survey was conducted over February 9 and 10, two days after NAB CEO Andrew Thorburn and chairman Ken Henry resigned amid criticism of their performance before the commission.
All of the big four banks suffered NTS declines driven by increases in distrust, but the survey found NAB’s distrust rating doubled over the previous year.
Roy Morgan’s January survey revealed CBA as the bank brand with the lowest level of trust and the highest level of distrust.
In January, 36.9% of Australians distrusted NAB, but in the immediate wake of the report’s release the number of Australians distrusting NAB soared to 53.7%. According to Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine: “This is the highest level of distrust we have ever seen for a bank brand in Australia.”
NAB’s level of trust plunged from 18.5% to 11.5% delivering it the banking sector’s worst Net Trust Score of -42.2%, with the other three major brands in the minus twenties.
Michele Levine said: “This is a startling result for one of Australia’s pre-eminent brands. This low level of trust sets a new benchmark for Australia’s banks. The real question is what happens next.
“Without trust there is no civil society. The Australian population has now expressed their anger and distrust with Australian banks. It is now time to rebuild that trust. Australia deserves a strong and trusted banking system.
“Company directors of these banks are facing the biggest challenge of their careers – to reverse the soaring levels of distrust in their brands. These directors on the boards of banks need truly independent reporting over time of their brand’s trust – and more critically, their distrust.
“Rather than taking solace in the relatively strong levels of satisfaction that the banks still enjoy among their main customers, company directors need to explore the dangerous underbelly of distrust.”