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Smaller banks keep customers happy

Smaller banks are continuing to outstrip their larger rivals when it comes to keeping customers happy, new research suggested.

Consumer magazine Which? Money said internet bank first direct, the One Account and Smile scored the highest customer satisfaction ratings in its annual round-up of member surveyors.

But big banks fared less well, with Bank of Scotland, Halifax and Santander coming at the bottom of the table.

Which? said first direct came top in customer satisfaction surveys for current accounts, savings and mortgages, giving it an overall score of 82%, closely followed by the One Account at 81%.

But Bank of Scotland received an overall satisfaction rating of just 43% while Halifax did only slightly better at 46%.

The average satisfaction score across more than 30 financial services groups included in the survey was 59%.

Peter Vicary-Smith, chief executive of Which?, said: "Whether it's a current account, mortgage, credit card or savings account, we consistently see the same names keeping their customers happy.

"Time and again, the big high street banks are found to be lacking when it comes to good customer service.

"People who are unhappy with their bank must vote with their feet and move to a better financial provider."

Which? Money questioned Which? members in July, October and November 2009, and January, March, April and June 2010. Between 4,522 and 14,621 people were questioned in the different surveys.


From Belfast Telegraph