Last week, I attended the Mumbrella Finance Marketing Summit, which brought together marketing leaders from the finance, banking, insurance, and payments sector to discuss the key issues impacting the industry in the wake of the Hayne Royal Commission.
It got me thinking about a recent study from Yell Creative & Ipsos, which revealed 13% of Australians have either changed or considered changing banks as a result of the Royal Commission.
Now, 13% doesn't seem like a lot. But that figure represents more than 3 million Australians who, as a direct result of the Royal Commission (which only happened a few short months ago) have already changed or at least considered changing banks. This represents a sizeable amount of distrust in the banks.
But while this is a big blow for the Big Four, it should serve as a wake-up call and treated as an opportunity for them to reinvent themselves. Especially since the Big Four have always been in a trust deficit, according to the Deloitte Trust Index 2018.
Today, it's well known that people don't care about your brand, they care about what your brand stands for. But as Wisr CMO, James Goodwin said at the Summit, "You can't retrofit purpose, it needs to be baked into the brand from the start. Everything you do need to come back to the customer."
Is it too late for the Big Four?
The idea of treating your brand as a glass box was also mentioned at the Summit, on the premise that everything you do as a brand must start from the inside-out, creating a culture of transparency.
These notions lend an advantage to upcoming 'neobanks' who, technically, have a fresh start amidst all the skepticism plaguing Australia's banking sector right now. And with neobanks like 86 400 gaining their full license, the competition for the Big Four is very real.
This raises a few questions: Will disruptors like 86 400 be able to retain customer trust as they grow? Will treating their brands as a glass box pay off? What will this mean for the Big Four in the long run?
“We asked consumers: ‘Have you changed banks as a result of the Royal Commission?’ 87% said no. So you could say, as a headline, that it hasn’t had much impact,” Roberts said. “But there’s 13% of Australians that said ‘yes’, or, ‘I’m considering it’. 13% of Australians have said that, as a direct result of the Royal Commission, not just ‘Have you thought about changing banks?'”