Findings of the annual survey on customers’ satisfaction with the service they receive from the banks

The Banking Supervision Department publishes the findings of the second annual survey on customers’ satisfaction with the service they receive from the banks

 

Main findings


  • Approximately a year ago, the Banking Supervision Department conducted and published, for the first time, the findings of a survey whose goal was to present customers’ views regarding the quality of services received form the bank in which they hold their account, compared with other banks.
  • The goal in conducting and publishing the survey is to create an incentive for banks to improve the service to households and to enhance the competition between them in improving the service.
  • The annual survey indicates that there has been an improvement in customers’ satisfaction with bank service in general, with an emphasis on improved satisfaction from service at call centers.
  • There is a medium level of satisfaction from service at branches and very high satisfaction from services via digital means (website and application).
  • There has been a decline in customer satisfaction regarding waiting time at the branch.
  • The survey also found that approximately 36 percent of the customers in Israel use the banks’ payment applications—Bit, Pay, and PayBox—and they note that their satisfaction with the applications is very high.

 

Compared with the survey conducted in 2018, following are the main trends:

 

  • There was an increase of about 4.5 percentage points in customers’ willingness to recommend the bank in which they manage their account.
  • There was an increase of about 4.2 percentage points in customers’ satisfaction with the service provided via the call center.
  • There was a decline of about 3.7 percentage points in satisfaction with the use of automated devices.
  • There was a jump to a new level in customers’ remote banking activity, not at the branch: a comparison among customers’ main communication channels with the banks shows an increase of about 10 percentage points in the use of direct means (website/application/phone) as the main communication channel with the bank, and in contrast a decrease of about 10 percentage points in the share visiting the branch.
  • There was a decline of about 3 percentage points in customers’ perception of the bank as fair, but most customers still perceive the bank as fair to one extent or another.

Supervisor of Banks Dr. Hedva Ber said, “Banking system customers are entitled to receive high quality and fair service, at high standards. The survey that we conducted last year led to increased efforts and investment of resources by the banks to improve service, and to an actual increase in customers’ satisfaction with the service. I am happy for that and expect that the trend of improvement in the issues and at the banks where it is necessary will continue. The Banking Supervision Department will continue to emphasize the quality of banking service to customers.”

 

The Banking Supervision Department monitors the quality of service to customers of the banking system by a range of ways, among other things via the Public Enquiries Unit at the Banking Supervision Department, the consumer enforcement function, and the Restricted Accounts Section. Within this framework, a year ago, the Banking Supervision Department began to conduct an annual satisfaction survey among banking system customers, with the goal of learning customers’ perception of satisfaction with the service provided to them by the banks and to create competition between the banks and an incentive for improved service, in areas and at banks where there is low satisfaction.

 

The survey encompassed the following banks[1]: Hapoalim, Leumi, Mizrahi-Tefahot, Discount, First International, Mercantile, Yahav, Union, and Masad. As part of the survey, more than 2000 Internet-based interviews were conducted in September–November 2019, among a random national representative sample of the Israeli population aged 18–74.

 

The general picture that emerges from the survey indicates a reasonable level of satisfaction with the general functioning of the banks in Israel. Variance can be detected among the banks with regard to the question of recommending the bank, satisfaction with service at the branch and from the call center, as in general the satisfaction in these areas among small and medium sized banks is higher than that among the larger banks. In contrast, with regard to the satisfaction from digital areas—website and application—the gaps among the banks are very low and customers’ satisfaction in general is very high.

 

Compared with the findings of the survey conducted in 2018, there has been an increase in customers’ overall satisfaction, as seen in customers’ willingness to recommend the bank in which they hold their account, and an increase in satisfaction from the service at the call center. There has been a decrease in customers’ satisfaction from automated devices and the perception of fairness.

 

Following are the main findings of the satisfaction survey (with greater detail provided in the presentation attached to this notice):

 

Households’ general satisfaction with the banks:

 

Approximately 58 percent of customers who responded to the survey would recommend that a friend or relative manage their account at the bank where they manage theirs, compared with 53.5 percent in the 2018 survey.

 

Satisfaction with the various means of communication with the bank[2]:

 

Approximately 78 percent, on average, of customers who answered the survey[3] are satisfied with service they receive at their branch.

 

An average of about 36 percent of customers who answered the survey are satisfied with the waiting time until receiving service from a teller, compared with 47.4 percent in 2018. Various banks began to enable customers to set an appointment time in advance, and it is recommended to the public to make use of that option, which reduces waiting time.

 

An average of about 73 percent of customers who answered the survey[4] are satisfied with the service provided through the bank’s call center, compared with 68.8 percent in the 2018 survey.

 

An average of about 85 percent of customers who answered the survey[5] are satisfied with the level of service the bank offers them through automated teller machines, compared with 88.7 percent in the 2018 survey.

 

An average of about 91 percent of customers who answered the survey[6] are satisfied with the level of service the bank offers them through its website, essentially unchanged from the 2018 survey.

 

An average of about 91 percent of customers who answered the survey[7] are satisfied with the level of service the bank offers them through its mobile application, essentially unchanged from the 2018 survey.

 

It should be noted that for 84 percent of the customer, the main means of communication with the bank are digital means and direct means (website/application/telephone). For only 13 percent of all customers, the main contact with the bank is through visiting the branch.

 

Comparing the findings of the 2018 survey and the 2019 survey: a marked declined can be seen in branch visits as the main channel of communication of bank customers with the bank. In the 2018 survey, 23 percent of customers noted that branch visits were their main channel of communicating with the bank, while in the 2019 survey only 13 percent of the customers noted that this was their main channel of communication.

 

Satisfaction with payment applications—Bit, Pay, PayBox

 

Approximately 36 percent of bank customers use the payment applications—Bit, Pay, and PayBox—with 91 percent of the users noting that their level of satisfaction with using the application is very high.

 

 

Perception of fairness

 

Of all bank customers, 59 percent believe that their bank acts fairly toward them, compared with 62 percent in the 2018 survey. A further 26 percent partially believe that their bank acts fairly toward them, essentially unchanged from the 2018 survey.

 

Eleven percent do not believe that their bank acts fairly toward them. The main reasons for this are: high fees (the main factor), lack of response/slow response by telephone, lack of personal service, congested branches, high interest on overdrafts and loans, and lack of ATM and branch availability.

 

The Banking Supervision Department will continue to follow up and to verify that the banking system takes care to improve its conduct in the areas that the survey indicated customers’ satisfaction is low.

 

 

 

Appendices:

A.    Methodology of the survey

Findings of the survey—via attached presentation​

 

 

Appendix A: Methodology of the Survey

 

The survey was conducted by the Rushinek Research Institute.

 

There were 2,007 Internet-based interviews, serving as a random national representative sample of the Israeli population aged 18–74 connected to the Internet.

 

In order to keep the sample representative, strict gender and age quotas were maintained, as well as representation in two additional parameters: sectoral (general, ultra-Orthodox, Arab, and Russian) and geographic (North, Haifa, Sharon, Tel Aviv, Central, South, and Judea and Samaria).

 

In order to increase the reliability of the findings by neutralizing random time deviations (a specific day on which the general consumer mood was irregular, the effects of advertising campaigns by the banks, etc.), the sample was split into four different subsamples that were conducted about a week apart. The data were gathered in September–November 2019. The maximum margin of error for the entire sample of about 2,000 respondents is ±2.2 percent.

 

This study used an Internet sampling. In phone samplings or face-to-face interviews, as opposed to Internet sampling, there is greater concern that the interviewees may mislead the interviewer due to the interviewee’s desire to satisfy the interviewer, or out of concern that the answers would upset the interviewer. (For example, there may be interviewees who avoid criticizing the quality of service they receive from their bank branch because, whether consciously or not, they are concerned that the terms they receive from the bank would be worsened due to the criticism.) In addition, the refusal rate in phone surveys is relatively high in Israel, so there is concern that the sample may not be representative.

 

It should be noted that there is partial connection to the Internet among older and more conservative population groups, but even among them, most of the population is connected to the Internet, making this the optimal method for gathering data in this case.

 

The preamble to the questionnaire was built in such a way that the respondents cannot know on whose behalf the survey is being conducted, in order to prevent misleading the interviewer.

 

Misleading the interviewer may result from three main situations: when the respondent consciously or subconsciously wants to impress the interviewer; when the respondent consciously or subconsciously wants to fulfill the interviewer’s expectations; or when the respondent is consciously or subconsciously worried that when answering honestly, the information will be given to external parties and cause him damage. Therefore, the preamble to the questionnaire does not mention the Bank of Israel, and the formulation legitimizes a broad range of responses.

 



[1] The Bank of Jerusalem was not included in the survey since the number of customers managing a current account at the bank is very low, both in absolute terms and in terms of the bank’s share of the banking system.

[2] The percentage in this section reflects those who chose the response “Satisfied” or “Very satisfied”.

[3] The results include the following banks that had a required minimum cell of respondents: Hapoalim, Leumi, Discount, Mizrahi-Tefahot, First International, and Yahav.

[4] The results include the following banks that had a required minimum cell of respondents: Hapoalim, Leumi, Discount, Mizrahi-Tefahot, and Yahav.

[5] The results include the following banks that had a required minimum cell of respondents: Hapoalim, Leumi, Discount, Mizrahi-Tefahot, First International, and Yahav.

[6] The results include the following banks that had a required minimum cell of respondents: Hapoalim, Leumi, Discount, Mizrahi-Tefahot, First International, and Yahav.

[7] The results include the following banks that had a required minimum cell of respondents: Hapoalim, Leumi, Discount, Mizrahi-Tefahot, First International, and Yahav.