- ‘Big Four’ banks – Lloyds, HSBC, RBS and Barclays – fail to secure top three spot and also fall in overall satisfaction, value for money and online services categories
- RBS reclaims wooden spoon, voted worst current account provider for second year in a row and coming last in further five categories
- HSBC falls eight places in ‘Most Trusted’ category, while Barclays suffers greatest drop in overall satisfaction
- First Direct is top performer, winning nine out of twelve awards, while new entrant Clydesdale Bank makes immediate impact, winning remaining three
- Yorkshire Bank and newly reformed TSB see big improvements across the board
- Satisfaction with value for money and trust overall are up.
Just a week ahead of the two year anniversary of the seven-day switching service, new research from uSwitch.com reveals that, when it comes to pleasing their customers, the big banks are continuing their fall from grace and allowing new entrants to sweep up the votes.
The price comparison and switching service’s annual survey of over 10,000 current account customers highlights that satisfaction with the big banks is falling almost across the board. RBS takes the wooden spoon for the second year in a row, being voted the worst provider overall and coming bottom in a five further categories including trust, value for money and online service.
However, RBS isn’t the only provider with disappointing scores. The Co-operative Bank saw the biggest falls compared to last year, sliding in eight out of the twelve categories including overall satisfaction, trust and value for money. Lloyds and Barclays both fell in seven categories, with the latter falling the furthest in overall satisfaction from fourth to tenth place. HSBC also suffered a disappointing year, compounding the recent misery of computer glitches with the biggest fall in trust from fifth to thirteenth position in the rankings.
At the other end of the tables, First Direct sweeps the board, topping nine of the twelve categories including the coveted Best Current Account as well as Most Trusted and Best Customer Service. The online and phone-based bank were only denied a full house by new-entrant Clydesdale Bank, who made a big impact in its first year of featuring in the awards. Showing it can appeal to all sorts of customers, the new bank takes home prizes for its app and branch customer service – as well as topping the charts for its switching service.
While they didn’t win anything, things are looking up for both the newly reformed TSB and the Yorkshire Bank. Now separated from the Lloyds Banking Group, TSB seems to be capitalising on its rejuvenated brand, seeing improvements in its scores for customer service, value for money and trust – as well as rising from eighth to fourth place in the ‘Best Current Account’ category. Meanwhile, Clydesdale’s sister, Yorkshire Bank, managed to improve its scores for overall satisfaction, trust, customer service and value for money, as well as substantially improving its online service.
But while the uSwitch.com survey reveals clear winners and losers amongst the banks, customers have stood to gain the most over the last 12 months. Value for money is improving – up to 75% from 69% last year, as is trust. Along with the fact that satisfaction with in-house switching teams is also on the up, it’s clear that some banks – in particular the larger players – will need to up their game if they want to hold onto customers.
Nicolas Frankcom, Money expert at uSwitch.com, says: “With savings rates still at rock bottom, current accounts are proving to be much more than an everyday bank account. People are always looking for ways to make their hard-earned cash work even harder, so it’s great that overall satisfaction with value for money is up.
“Overall improvements across the board suggest the bar is being raised, with providers like First Direct and Clydesdale ticking all the right boxes. It’s up to those losing customers to fight back. Big players in this space, such as Santander, are continuing to capitalise, while we’ve seen Barclays forced to re-think ending its rewards scheme. It’s also encouraging to see more people switching.
“However, while customers are looking for value for money, it’s important that the banks don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater and don’t take their eye off getting the basics right – customer service is key. Many providers still have a long way to go when it comes to delivering here. With more challenger banks expected to shake things up even further in the future, the Big Four clearly have more to do if they want to be the big winners.”
For more information visit https://www.uswitch.com/banking/>www.uswitch.com or call 0800 093 06 07