For the 11th year Money’s Consumer Finance Awards – Bank of the Year – aims to help consumers who are looking for a new financial partner or want confirmation their present one is among the best.
Money’s research partner Canstar closely scrutinised more than 15,000 financial products and services from more than 140 financial institutions to come up with our deserving winners.
There were a few surprises. For instance, for the first time our Bank of the Year award was not picked up by one of the big banks. And in another first none of the big four banks made the top three in Home Lender of the Year.
“These awards are recognition of the institutions that are going over and above to exceed their customers’ expectations,” says research manager at Canstar Mitchell Watson.
Bank of the Year
Why they won: Competitive products across a broad range of areas for both retail and business customers.
Top products: Home Package Plus, Everyday Options, Everyday Basics account, margin loan, business everyday account.
Building Society of the Year
Why they won: The ability to deliver value where it counts, including home loans, deposit accounts and personal loans.
Top products: Premium Plus package loan, personal and car loans, online savings account.
Credit Union of the Year
Why they won: Great products across the board that deliver value to customers; performed especially well in home loans and deposit accounts.
Top products: Everyday account, eSaver Plus, Youth eSaver account, Fresh Start variable home loan, Residential Premium two- and three-year fixed loan.
Home Lender of the Year
Why they won: Newcastle Permanent’s strength lies in its ability to combine perfectly featured loans with a low rate.
Top products: Home loan suite both fixed and variable but in particular the Premium Plus Package home loan.
Money Minder of the Year
Why they won: Bankwest maintains its position by offering a variety of deposit accounts tailored for every need
Top products: Hero transaction account, TeleNet Saver account and Kids’ Bonus Saver account
Credit Card Issuer of the Year
Why they won: A solid range of credit cards that can meet the needs of various usage habits and budgets
Top products: Low-rate credit card, low-fee credit card, Awards credit cards
Personal Lender of the Year
Why they won: Offers great value and flexibility
Top products: Secured and unsecured personal loans
Business Bank of the Year
Why they won: Competitively priced suite of products including transaction accounts, credit cards and loans.
Top products: Business transaction account, low-rate credit card, Business Awards credit card, term loans
Insurer of the Year
Why they won: Great pricing on car and home and contents policies as well as products with great features.
Top products: Gold comprehensive car insurance, home and contents insurance.
Margin Lender of the Year
Why they won: It is hard to beat CommSec’s loan-to-value ratio of up to 85% and a below-market average interest rate. An impressive list of shares, managed funds and exchange traded funds for investors to borrow against as well as features such as six types of conditional orders, educational calculators and a terrific online share-trading platform
Top products: A wide array of competitive margin loans on a broad range of securities
Non-Bank Lender of the Year
Why they won: Providing outstanding value consistently
Top products: Standard Variable loan, Breathe Easy offset loan
Banking Website of the Year
Why they won: Comprehensive services through desktop banking and mobile banking app, great range of tools and calculators and strong security
Top products: Mobile app, cardless cash, lock, block and limit
Socially Responsible Institution of the Year
What the panel said: Westpac shines as ambitious social and environmental targets are made public and senior executive bonuses are put on the line for their delivery
What the panel said: This mutually owned bank has an impressive community investment program, takes indigenous reconciliation seriously and is showing real leadership on environmental protection.