Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Banks urged to put customers first

Along with Santander, the Halifax scored the lowest in a Which? customer satisfaction survey

All major high street banks score below average on customer satisfaction, a Which? survey found.

The consumer group asked its members over the last year how satisfied they were with the services provided by 30 financial brands.

Santander and Halifax scored the lowest results with just 46% and 48% of their customers saying they were satisfied - well below the average score of 62%.

Also performing poorly were the Bank of Scotland, which scored 49%, RBS at 50%, Lloyds at 51%, Barclays at 54%, NatWest at 56% and HSBC with 60%.

Top of the table for customer satisfaction were First Direct, The One Account and the Co-Operative Bank with 86%, 80% and 79% respectively.

Customers were asked how satisfied they are with their current account, savings account, credit card and mortgage provider for the main UK financial service providers and whether they would recommend them to a friend.

Members were also asked to rate their bank on aspects of their services including experience of customer service, how good banks are at resolving problems, how knowledgeable bank staff are and whether banks keep their customers informed about charges and the best deals.

Savings account customers were the most unhappy with many frustrated that loyalty does not seem to pay and complaining they have to check up on interest rates and switch accounts to get the best deals.

Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director, said: "Consumers are constantly being let down when it comes to customer service. This is not good enough, we want to see fundamental changes in the culture of banking and a return to banking for customers, not bankers. Our survey shows that those banks that go the extra mile to keep their customers happy are rated far higher than banks who may offer slightly better products or interest rates.

"All banks need to start putting customers first."