KPMG Ranks Sterling Bank High in Retail Banking


Nume Ekeghe

Sterling Bank Plc has been ranked the third best retail banking institution in Nigeria, according to KPMG Nigeria in its 2019 Nigeria Banking Industry Customer Experience Survey released in Lagos recently.

The ranking which singled out Sterling Bank as one of the biggest movers in the banking industry since 2017, was the outcome of a research that was completed last year, via face-to-face and online survey methodology.

According to the survey, which covered 25,466 retail customers, 3,045 SMEs and 369 commercial/corporate organisations, “after the 2017 peak, we have now seen two years of decline in overall customer experience (CX) performance in the retail segment with nearly half of the rated banks falling below the industry average.”

Sterling Bank scored 72.1 percent, along with Access Bank, both trailing GTBank and Zenith Bank Plc.

Sterling Bank, First Bank and UBA were the biggest movers this year.

It noted that only two banks recorded actual increases in their customer experience scores – reflecting higher customer expectations and the imperative to respond to rapidly evolving customer expectations.

Further analysis of the report showed dynamism in the SME segment in this year’s ranking.

Despite lower levels of overall satisfaction for SMEs, Fidelity Bank and Ecobank made the greatest improvements with both banks moving up more than four places into the top five.

“In the corporate segment, we also see a dip in overall CX scores compared to the previous year’s performance. Citibank and GTBank maintained top spots from last year, with new entrants Standard Chartered and Access Bank making top five positions at 3rd and 5th places respectively,” the report stated.

The report noted that, “When assessed against the six pillars, integrity, defined as being trustworthy and engendering trust, is the pillar where Nigerian banks perform the strongest. This is not unexpected given the role banks play in the lives of customers.”

It also observed that integrity was fundamental to great customer experience because, without it, the experience loses value. It, however, noted that personalisation, which is the bank’s ability to use individualised attention to drive an emotional connection with the customer, lags other pillars.

The report noted that, “Ultimately, as more banks progress towards an average score, less differentiation is noted amongst them by customers while performing well is the new minimum standard required and adapting to changing expectations is critical to success.”

According to the report, while the Nigerian banking landscape has constantly been characterised by steep competition, the stakes have been raised even higher and performing well on customer experience is the new minimum standard.