- Britain’s biggest high street banks – RBS, HSBC, Barclays and Lloyds – once again fail to secure a top three spot in the uSwitch Current Accounts Awards
- RBS voted worst for Overall Satisfaction for the third year in a row, while HSBC comes last in seven categories
- First Direct is top performer again, winning ten out of 12 awards, with Nationwide claiming the remaining top spots
- Clydesdale Bank is the biggest faller – dropping nine places, while the Co-operative Bank climbs into the top three
- Customers unimpressed with online experience, and satisfaction with current account rewards plummets.
New figures, from a survey of 10,000 current account customers, shows that once again Britain’s big banks have been beaten by their smaller rival in the customer satisfaction stakes – according to uSwitch.com, the independent price comparison and switching website.
The survey reveals that RBS has taken the wooden spoon for Overall Satisfaction, for the third year in a row, being voted the worst provider overall by its customers. However, the biggest loser is HSBC which has come bottom in seven categories including Best Customer Service (branch), Best Current Account, and Best App.
However, RBS and HSBC aren’t the only providers disappointing their customers over the past 12 months. Clydesdale Bank has seen the biggest falls compared to last year, sliding in eight out of the 12 categories including Best Customer Service (branch) and Best Switching Service, which they topped last year. Clydesdale also slumped from second to 11th in the Overall Satisfaction category.
At the other end of the tables, First Direct – HSBC’s sister bank – has swept the board again, topping ten of the 12 categories including the coveted Best Current Account as well as the Most Trusted and Best Customer Service awards. The online and phone-based bank has only been denied a full house by Nationwide which has scooped top spots in the Best Rewards and Best Customer Service (branch) categories.
While the Co-operative Bank didn’t win any categories, things may have turned a corner as it scored higher in ten out of the 12 categories than a year ago. Having seemingly put the bad times behind it, the Manchester-based bank has seen improvements in its scores for Best Customer Service (overall), Value for Money and Online Service – as well as rising from fifth to third place in the Overall Satisfaction category.
While the uSwitch.com survey reveals clear winners and losers amongst the banks, it also highlights changing customer attitudes. Traditional reward schemes no longer seem to be providing customers with the same level of satisfaction, with scores tumbling in the Best Rewards category, while the banks’ overall value for money ranking remains around the 50% mark.
Tashema Jackson, money expert at uSwitch.com, says: “Current accounts are usually the most important part of people’s dealings with their bank, so choosing the right provider is imperative. As a result, and unsurprisingly, how banks treats their customers’ remains the barometer by which they are judged, and it is no surprise to see those that scored highly in the customer service categories dominate the overall satisfaction table.
“Getting the balance right is proving to be the biggest challenge for banks, because while branch customer service is on the rise, there has been a noticeable drop in customer satisfaction with the online service provided. Given the rise in online-only banks, the high street needs to get its act together or could find itself losing out to these digitally switched on challengers.
“The task for the big banks remains to provide a great service for all customers, whether face to face, online or over the phone. With both First Direct and Nationwide consistently getting it right, it shows that regardless of whether you offer a bricks or clicks service meeting your customers’ expectations is the sure fire way to success.
“Given the consistent low marks from some of the big banks, you have to question whether they are genuinely interested in keeping their customers happy, so it is no surprise that they continue to lose customers to the challengers. To stay ahead of the competition, the high street banks will need to up their game and start putting customers first.”
For more information visit www.uswitch.com or call 0800 093 06 07