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Bank reputations barely harmed by scandals

AAP logoAAP 6/10/2016

High fees, bad financial advice and a failure to match the central bank's rate cuts have done little to dent customers' view of the big four banks.

The average consumer rating of the reputations of Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, Westpac and ANZ sits just below 7.5 out of 10, according to a survey by DBM Consultants.

That rating has slipped only marginally from 7.6 at the start of 2016.

The poll also shows businesses rate the banks' reputation as 7.2 out of 10, down from 7.5 in February.

DBM account director Liliane Foederer says the banks' reputations are declining amid "generally negative coverage of events and views expressed by prominent individuals in the media".

Widespread criticism of bank practices and behaviour, stemming from scandals in several financial advice businesses, has resulted in an annual grilling of bank chief executives by federal politicians, with the first public hearings happening this week.

But Ms Foederer said customers still hold a fairly positive view of the major banks.

"Our view is that despite all the largely negative attention the banks get from different quarters, customers of the major banks have a reasonably benign view of their main financial provider," she said.

Consumer satisfaction ratings of the big four banks have fallen only marginally in 2016, to 7.5 out of 10, the DBM poll showed.

While some customers have been hurt by bank practices hold a negative view of the big four, they are in the minority, Ms Foederer said..

"Certainly, it is not a view shared by everyone, and it's not enough to have a significant effect on the overall perceptions of banks," she said.

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