The damage of the banking Royal Commission has been far-ranging, with trust in the government, real estate and the media declining alongside loss of faith in the financial services, banking, superannuation and insurance sectors.
But the institution that seems to have come off worst from the whole inquiry has been the National Australia Bank.
While all four major banks have seen a “significant erosion” in the latest monthly Net Trust Score (NTS), the distrust in NAB in particular has doubled year-on-year, according to market research firm Roy Morgan.
In January, the Commonwealth Bank held the unenviable title of least trusted and most distrusted big bank.
But in the wake of Royal Commissioner Kenneth Hayne’s final report, NAB has taken over CBA’s position.
Over a third (36.9 per cent) of Australians expressed distrust in NAB in January – but this figure soared to more than half (53.7 per cent), according to a survey taken five days after the final Royal Commission report was publicly released.
At the same time, NAB earnt the banking sector’s worst NTS of -42.2 per cent, with the other three major banks hovering in the minus-twenties.
“This is the highest level of distrust we have ever seen for a bank brand in Australia,” noted Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine.
“This low level of trust sets a new benchmark for Australia’s banks… The real question is what happens next.”
Big bank executives are now tasked with the job of reversing distrust in the industry, Levine said.
“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.”
NAB’s CEO Andrew Thorburn and chairman Ken Henry resigned from their posts last Thursday, saying they were “deeply sorry” for failing to meet customer expectations.
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