Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

First Direct top of customer poll as Barclays slides

First Direct has consistently topped MoneySavingExpert's consumer survey since it started in 2008
First Direct has consistently topped MoneySavingExpert's consumer survey since it started in 2008

First Direct has retained top spot in a customer satisfaction poll of current account providers while Barclays languishes in bottom place for the first time.

Santander, Nationwide, the Co-operative Bank and its internet bank brand Smile rounded out the top five in terms of how happy customers are with their current account service, according to the twice-yearly survey run by MoneySavingExpert.com.

NatWest and its sister bank Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which have been beset by a string of high-profile technical glitches in recent years, took two of the bottom five places, along with HSBC and Lloyds Bank.

Less than half of consumers rated the current account service provided by Barclays, NatWest, HSBC, RBS and Lloyds as great.

First Direct, which is an internet and telephone banking brand belonging to HSBC, has consistently topped MoneySavingExpert's consumer survey since it started in 2008. More than nine in 10 (92%) consumers rated First Direct's current account service as great.

Welcoming the findings, Tracy Garrad, CEO at First Direct, said the bank's staff work "tirelessly".

At the other end of the results, one quarter (26%) of people who voted in the Barclays category rated the current account service as poor and just under two in five (38%) described it as great.

A Barclays spokesman said the findings do not tally with its own research into how happy its customers are.

The spokesman said: "Even one dissatisfied customer is one too many and we are constantly working hard to improve and innovate our services.

"Whilst this survey doesn't tally with our comprehensive and independent customer satisfaction scores, we will learn any lessons we need to in order to do better in future."

Santander, which spent four years at the bottom of the survey after it started, has shot up the rankings into second place, with 72% of customers saying it offers a great service.

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