NAB ranked Australia's most distrusted bank

Pedro Gonçalves
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NAB ranked Australia's most distrusted bank

National Australia Bank (NAB) has emerged as the most distrusted bank in Australia after been singled out in commissioner Hayne's final report from the royal commission, according to a survey.

All of the big four banks have experienced a rise in distrust from consumers, as found by the market researcher's Net Trust Score Survey conducted by research firm Roy Morgan this month, following the release of the final report.

While a survey on bank trust taken in January, before the release of the report, found 36.9% of Australians distrusted NAB, that figure soared to 53.7% in the week after the report was released.

Without trust there is no civil society. The Australian population has now expressed their anger and distrust with Australian banks. It is now time to rebuild that trust. Australia deserves a strong and trusted banking system"

"This is the highest level of distrust we have ever seen for a bank brand in Australia," Roy Morgan boss Michele Levine, who has been tracking bank distrust since 2017, said in a statement. 

Simultaneously, NAB's level of trust plunged from 18.5% to 11.5%, delivering it the banking sector's worst NTS of -42.2%, with the other three major brands in the negative twenties.

Michele Levine added: "This is a startling result for one of Australia's pre-eminent brands. This low level of trust sets a new benchmark for Australia's banks. The real question is what happens next.

"Without trust there is no civil society. The Australian population has now expressed their anger and distrust with Australian banks. It is now time to rebuild that trust. Australia deserves a strong and trusted banking system.

"Company directors of these banks are facing the biggest challenge of their careers - to reverse the soaring levels of distrust in their brands. These directors on the boards of banks need truly independent reporting over time of their brand's trust - and more critically, their distrust.

"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 CEO Andrew Thorburn and chairman Ken Henry resigned amid criticism of their performance before the commission.