A LARGE majority of Singaporean customers remain loyal to their main bank, but only 15 per cent stick to just one bank, according to a new survey.
The third edition of Ernst & Young's Consumer Banking Survey found that 80 per cent of Singaporean customers have never changed their main bank, markedly higher than the 58per cent across the Asia-Pacific region.
A substantial number of consumers, however, have more than one bank, with 52 per cent of the 500 Singaporeans polled having three or more banks.
About 60 per cent of the respondents said that the main reason for using multiple banks was to spread the risk in case of bank failure. Another key factor, cited by 45 per cent, was to ensure the best rates or fees for each banking product.
As to what would drive them to change banks, 68 per cent said that it would be high fees and charges, while 50 per cent cited poor interest rates on deposits.
Mr Liew Nam Soon, Asia-Pacific and Singapore financial services advisory leader at Ernst & Young, said: "In terms of deposit rates, some qualifying foreign banks (QFBs) have been quite aggressive, offering very competitive rates in order to gain market share... With the recently announced updates to the QFB programme, competition is expected to intensify as customers will have more banking choices."
Also, more than 90 per cent of the respondents are satisfied with their bank services, even though only 23 per cent of those polled receive frequent contact or very personalised services.
The main grouse of Singaporeans is poor complaints management, with only 54 per cent satisfied with their bank's service.
About half of the customers use social networking sites to find out more about the banks' products and services, with 39 per cent using it to comment on the level of service received.
"There is certainly room for banks to tap on social networking to engage customers. As the banking industry sets to become even more competitive, it would bode well for banks to pay even more attention to the customer's voice and shape their business around customer needs," said Mr Liew.
The Ernst & Young Global Consumer Banking Survey 2012 polled 28,560 customers in 35 countries in February and March.