Consumer gloom in savings market – just 32% satisfied with the interest rate offered by their main ISA/savings provider
Two fifths (42%) of cash ISA savers would pick a building society over any other provider if all offered the same interest rate and service
Yorkshire Building Society and Coventry Building Society pick up top honours in Uswitch.com’s 2013 Savings Account Awards – scoring top marks for customer satisfaction, trust and rates while the Co-op was voted best overall provider
RBS least popular savings provider – voted bottom for trust, online customer service and ‘most likely to be recommended’
While savers continue to favour building societies, more than three quarters (82%) believe new entrants will boost the savings sector and four in ten (39%) say they are more likely to use a new player now compared to a year ago.
With the ISA season in full swing, new research from Uswitch.com, the independent price comparison and switching service, highlights the level of disillusionment felt by UK savers, with less than one in three (32%) satisfied with the interest rate offered by their savings provider. The report also reveals that Brits would prefer to put their cash ISA savings into a building society over any other savings provider.
In fact, if all providers offered the same interest rate and service, four in ten (42%) cash ISA savers would choose a building society. Traditional high street banks came in second (36%), followed by new entrants or smaller players, such as Virgin and Post Office (11%). Fewer than one in ten consumers (7%) chose supermarket or retail brands, and overseas providers lagged well behind in bottom place (4%).
While not actually wanting to invest in them, more than eight in ten consumers (82%) believe that new entrants to the savings market give the sector a boost. The success of the likes of M&S has meant that four in ten (39%) cash ISA savers are more likely to use a ‘new player’ or supermarket brand for their cash ISA allowance now compared to a year ago.
Uswitch.com’s 2013 Savings Account Awards reveal that, in the wider savings market, traditional high street banks lose out across the board to building societies and newer market entrants. First Direct takes the mantle for most awards, winning four out of the ten categories including ‘Overall Customer Service’ and ‘Online Banking’, while The Co-operative Bank comes top for ‘Best Provider’, ‘Most Likely to be Recommended’ and ‘In-Branch Customer Service’.
Yorkshire Building Society and Coventry Building Society also pick up gongs, scoring top marks for customer satisfaction, trust and rates. RBS, on the other hand, is voted the least popular savings provider, voted bottom for trust, online customer service and ‘most likely to be recommended’. Less than six in ten (56%) RBS customers are satisfied overall, and a meagre 16% are happy with the interest rates offered on their account.
Michael Ossei, personal finance expert at Uswitch.com, says: “This is all about who consumers trust, not just with their savings, but to give them good old-fashioned customer service. On this basis, building societies and the newer players in the market have earned their stripes, while the traditional high street banks are still scraping along the bottom.
“Savers are having to make do with the lowest returns in years and they are obviously not happy about it. Yet despite this, they’re flocking to cash ISAs in their droves with a 26% increase in the number of savers this year compared to last.
“However, while new entrants to the savings market are welcomed, savers still appear to be more confident placing their money with more established and trusted building societies – and at the moment it’s not difficult to see why. Building societies currently offer some of the best cash ISA deals on the market and are consistently competitive.”
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Research referred to in the release for Uswitch.com’s 2013 Savings Account Awards was conducted online by YouGov between 25/09/12 and 3/10/12 among 10,269 adults. All figures are based on uSwitch.com analysis. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults who own one or more savings accounts (aged 18+). Further research was carried out online with the uSwitch.com Consumer Opinion Panel in February 2013 amongst a sample of 1,768 GB adults.
According to the YouGov survey, 6% said they were ‘very satisfied’ and 26% said they were ‘fairly satisfied’ with the rate of interest offered by their main ISA/Savings provider on their in-credit balance.
According to the Uswitch.com Consumer Opinion Panel, when ISA savers were asked ‘If all providers offered a cash ISA account paying the same rate of interest and offering exactly the same service, which are you most likely to choose to take out?’, 42% said ‘A building society’; 36% said ‘Traditional high street bank’; 44% said ‘A new player such as Virgin, Post Office, MetroBank’; 7% said ‘A supermarket or retailer that has moved into banking’ and 4% said ‘An overseas or foreign owned bank’.
In the YouGov survey, Yorkshire Building Society received top score for Trust and Coventry Build Society received top scores for Overall Satisfaction and Rates.
In the YouGov survey, RBS came bottom in the category for Best Provider, as well as for Most Trusted, Online/email customer service and Most Likely to be Recommended.
According to the Uswitch.com Consumer Opinion Panel, when asked ‘Do you think you would benefit from more new entrants coming in to the savings market?’, 82% said ‘Yes’ and was split by the following: 33% said ‘Yes more choice is a good thing’; 31% said ‘Yes, it’s good for competition’; 14% said ‘Yes, new entrants offer better rates and service’ and 4% said ‘Yes, I’m fed up with the old banks’.
According to the Uswitch.com Consumer Opinion Panel, when those that plan to invest in a cash ISA this year were asked, “Are you more or less likely to use one of the ‘new players’ or supermarket brands for your cash ISA account now compared to a year ago?’, 39% said ‘Yes’.
In the YouGov survey, First Direct received top scores for Telephone Customer Service, Online/Email Customer Service, Online Banking, Overall Customer Service. The Co-operative Bank received top scores for In-Branch Customer Service, Recommended and Best Provider.
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