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Bendigo Bank touts customer number rise, NPS scores in first-half results

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank first-half financial results show impact of digitisation on group's investment plans

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has highlighted a 4.3 per cent rise in customer numbers and an industry-leading Net Promoter Score in its half-yearly financial results reported today.

The ASX-listed bank reported NPS for the first half sat at +29, down 3 percentage points year-on-year but markedly higher than the banking industry average of +2.2. Bendigo and Adelaide Bank was also featured on Roy Morgan’s February 2021 risk monitor as one of Australia’s top 20 most trusted brands, while DBM research showed its business customer support was the highest ranked of all Australian banks during the height of the COVID-19 crisis.

The Bank reported a 4.3 per cent increase in additional customers since 30 June 2020, bringing total numbers from 1.8 million to 1.96 million by 31 December 2020. Total cash income for the first half reached $849 million, with statutory net profits increasing 67.3 per cent to $243.9 million. Of this, total lending was up 8.6 per cent to $68.3 billion.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank managing director, Marnie Baker, said the results demonstrated the strength of the group’s strategy, business model and ability of its people to move quickly to support customers and communities.

“We also continued to support customers through COVID-19, while playing our important role of providing credit to support the economy,” she said. “Deferrals significantly reduced from their peak in May, including in Victoria, and our strong capital position ensures we are well positioned to manage through the pandemic.”

As at 31 December 2020, 3087 customer accounts remained on deferral, down 86 per cent from the peak on 31 May 2020. The value of accounts where repayments have been deferred is about $1.1 billion, down 84.2 per cent from a peak of $6.9bn.

Baker noted the group had opened a new community-focused experience store in Bendigo, even as it reduced its overall network by 12 branches. The group has also increased its mobile relationship managers by 16 per cent. These employees wrote more than $1 billion in loans in the past six months, representing a 61 per cent increase on the prior corresponding period.

“As we continue to invest in areas where our customers demand a greater experience, our branches remain important to our community connection, whilst attracting strong customer deposits to support our business,’ Baker continued.

“In line with our strategic imperatives to reduce complexity, invest in capability and tell our story, this half we also continued to simplify and modernise our technology, enhance strategic partnerships and further implement digital capability to reduce costs and improve the experience we offer our customers.”

This technology and transformation investment was worth $35.2 million in H1, 2021 and included efforts to streamline and digitise customer journeys, invest in API and cloud technology to simplify back-end technology and consolidate multiple core banking systems, and automate manual processes.

Related: Bendigo Bank rolls out customer-led metrics framework

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank invests in real-time personalised interactions with customers

Other milestones highlighted in Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s financial report include new ‘Connect’ mobile banking App features introduced to further enhance customer experience, the launch of authenticated Web messaging for a more personal and convenient customer experience, use of cloud and API capability to increase scalability, security, agility and ability to adapt to changing customer needs, and broadened use of digital acceptance of documents to improve customer experience.

In the past two years, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has upped its digital game by offering Tic:Toc’s fully digital home loan platform to its customers, and the ‘Up’ mobile-only neobanking platform, which now boasts of 325,000 customers.

“With business confidence and consumer sentiment up, an ongoing low-rate environment, a growing housing market, an improving jobs market, continued growth in regional Australia, and our customers showing remarkable resilience and adaptability, we are buoyed by the outlook,” Baker commented.

“We continue to invest in new capabilities, partnerships, technology and skills, which when combined with our deep human-approach, high trust and positive net promoter scores, will allow us to become even more innovative and agile in responding to our customers’ ever-changing need, and further grow market share.”

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