Press release:

High street banks fail to impress in 2017 uSwitch Credit Card Awards

  • The latest uswitch.com survey of more than 10,000 credit card customers reveals that the big high street banks are falling behind other providers[1]
  • Nationwide Building Society wins the coveted uswitch.com 2017 Credit Card Provider of the Year[2]
  • High street banks – HSBC, Lloyds, Barclays and RBS – have failed to make an impact for the second year running, not winning a single award between them[1]
  • Nationwide rakes in customer service awards for branch, online and mobile app[3]
  • American Express tops the Best Value for Money and Best Rewards Scheme categories[4].

High street banks have been put to shame for the second year running, as the uSwitch.com Credit Card Awards, with over 10,000 credit card customers surveyed, reveal Nationwide Building Society as the 2017 Credit Card Provider of the Year[2].

Nationwide has greatly improved its customer service, taking home the Credit Card of the Year and Most Trusted awards, as well as topping the table in five other categories[3].

Last year American Express picked up five awards on its way to winning the gold[5], but in 2017 the financial services giant has failed to retain the overall top spot. The credit card provider has, however, scooped up five awards including Best Telephone Customer Service[5].

High street banks have failed to impress customers with their service for the second consecutive year[6]. HSBC, Lloyds, Barclays and RBS again fail to make an impact on the awards[6], not making the top three in any category[7].

Consumers are increasingly using websites and mobile phones to manage their finances[8], demonstrating that digital customer service is now more relevant than ever. Disappointingly, none of the big banks came out on top for online customer service[1], paving the way for Nationwide to win the award for best Desktop Customer Service[3]. Meanwhile American Express scooped up Mobile Phone and Tablet customer service awards, for both web browser and app[5].

American Express has knocked John Lewis off the top of the table for Best Reward Schemes[5] this year, proving that credit card rewards remain an important incentive for consumers. Santander dropped one place from fourth in 2016 to fifth in 2017, in the same category, after the bank announced a cut to its cashback offer for 123 credit card holders[9].

However, it is Nationwide who has won the hearts of consumers with a score of 73% in the category of Most Trusted Provider[10]. The high street banks trailed behind in this category, leaving a 15% gap between Nationwide at number one and the highest ranked high street bank, HSBC, at ninth place[11].

Thomas Lyon, money expert at uSwitch.com, says: “It’s great to see Nationwide topping the awards ladder this year, but it’s a shame that the banks people most recognise are continuing to fall short.

“Online services have become a necessity as well as a convenience for consumers to keep track of their money on the go. This year’s awards show that if providers can meet the needs of consumers by pairing essential services, such as easy to use online platforms, with excellent customer service, they can reap the benefits.

“These awards will hopefully encourage the larger providers to recognise they have work to do. Results also prove that consumers won’t put up with sub-standard customer service when it comes to their credit cards, and with long 0% balance transfer options available, the case to switch is a hard one to ignore.”

 Find out how you could save over £1,000 a year with uSwitch here.

— ends —

Notes to editors

All research referred to was conducted by Opinium between 31 January 2017 and 6 February 2017 among 10,000 online interviews with random UK credit card holders. All figures are based on uSwitch.com analysis. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults aged 18+.

  1. None of the high street banks (HSBC, Lloyds, RBS and Barclays) topped any categories in 2017. See full results below.
  2. Nationwide awarded Credit Card Provider of the year with an overall customer satisfaction of 76%.
  3. Nationwide won seven out of 12 awards; Overall Customer Satisfaction, Most Trusted Provider, Best Branch Customer Service Provider, Best Desktop/Laptop Customer Service Provider, Best Website, Best Mobile Website and Best Mobile App.
  4. American Express won the Best Rewards Scheme Category in 2017 with a score of 64%.
  5. American Express won five awards including Best Telephone Customer Service Provider, Best Mobile Browser Customer Service Provider, Best Mobile App Customer Service Provider, Best Value for Money and Best Rewards.
  6. A list of 2016 uSwitch Credit Card Award winners can be found here.
  7. The high street banks only made it into the top three for any categories. See full results below.
  8. Big banks beaten by smaller rivals in the customer satisfaction stakes release here.
  9. In January 2017 Santander announced that from February next year the cashback offer for the 123 credit card will only be available on a maximum spend of £300 and £150 respectively per month. Three per cent cashback will still be available on spending on travel, on spending of up to a maximum of £100 per month, a reduction from £300 per month. This means customers will now be able to earn a maximum of £3 per category, or £9 per month from the card, which has a monthly fee of £3. The new caps for cashback will already be applied to those who signed up to the card after September 15 while the cap will be introduced from February for those who had a card before this date. More information can be found here: http://www.santander.co.uk/uk/account-changes/123-credit-card.
  10. Nationwide won the category of Most Trusted Provider with a score of 73%.
  11. Nationwide topped the table at number one for Most Trusted Provider (73%) with HSBC the highest ranked high street bank at number nine (58%). See full results below.

Full list of winners across all categories:

Category Provider
Overall Customer Satisfaction Nationwide
Most Trusted Provider Nationwide
Best Telephone Customer Service Provider American Express
Best Branch Customer Service Provider Nationwide
Best Desktop/Laptop Customer Service Provider Nationwide
Best Mobile Browser Customer Service Provider American Express
Best Mobile App Customer Service Provider American Express
Best Value for Money American Express
Best Website Nationwide
Best Mobile Website Nationwide
Best Mobile App Nationwide
Best Rewards American Express

Top 12 award category findings below:

Overall Customer Satisfaction

Rank Provider Score
1 Nationwide 76%
2 American Express 75%
3 Marks & Spencer 67%
4 Tesco 67%
5 MBNA 63%
6 Halifax 62%
7 Barclaycard 62%
8 NatWest 60%
9 Lloyds 59%
10 HSBC 59%
11 Santander 59%
12 Capital One 57%

Most Trusted Provider

Rank Provider Score
1 Nationwide 73%
2 American Express 73%
3 Marks & Spencer 68%
4 Tesco 63%
5 Santander 62%
6 NatWest 61%
7 Halifax 60%
8 MBNA 59%
9 HSBC 58%
10 Barclaycard 58%
11 Lloyds 57%
12 Capital One 52%

Best Telephone Customer Service Provider

Rank Provider Score
1 American Express 68%
2 Marks & Spencer 66%
3 Nationwide 64%
4 Tesco 62%
5 MBNA 61%
6 Halifax 57%
7 NatWest 57%
8 HSBC 56%
9 Capital One 56%
10 Santander 54%
11 Barclaycard 54%
12 Lloyds 53%

Best Branch Customer Service Provider

Rank Provider Score
1 Nationwide 73%
2 NatWest 62%
3 Marks & Spencer 61%
4 Santander 61%
5 Lloyds 59%
6 Halifax 58%
7 HSBC 56%
8 Barclaycard 51%
9 American Express 45%
10 Tesco 42%
11 Capital One 37%
12 MBNA 35%

Best Desktop/Laptop Customer Service Provider

Rank Provider Score
1 Nationwide 76%
2 American Express 70%
3 MBNA 70%
4 Marks & Spencer 68%
5 Tesco 65%
6 Halifax 64%
7 Santander 62%
8 Barclaycard 62%
9 Capital One 61%
10 Lloyds 61%
11 HSBC 60%
12 NatWest 59%

Best Mobile Browser Customer Service Provider

Rank Provider Score
1 American Express 63%
2 Nationwide 61%
3 Marks & Spencer 58%
4 MBNA 56%
5 Tesco 55%
6 Capital One 53%
7 Lloyds 53%
8 Barclaycard 53%
9 Halifax 51%
10 NatWest 50%
11 HSBC 49%
12 Santander 46%

Best Mobile App Customer Service Provider

Rank Provider Score
1 American Express 64%
2 Nationwide 63%
3 MBNA 57%
4 Lloyds 55%
5 Barclaycard 55%
6 NatWest 55%
7 Tesco 53%
8 Capital One 51%
9 Halifax 51%
10 HSBC 50%
11 Marks & Spencer 47%
12 Santander 46%

Best Value for Money Provider

Rank Provider Score
1 American Express 67%
2 Nationwide 65%
3 Tesco 61%
4 Marks & Spencer 60%
5 Halifax 54%
6 MBNA 53%
7 Santander 50%
8 Barclaycard 50%
9 NatWest 50%
10 Lloyds 47%
11 HSBC 44%
12 Capital One 38%

Best Website

Rank Provider Score
1 Nationwide 78%
2 American Express 74%
3 MBNA 73%
4 Santander 69%
5 Marks & Spencer 69%
6 Tesco 68%
7 Capital One 67%
8 Halifax 66%
9 NatWest 65%
10 Barclaycard 65%
11 Lloyds 64%
12 HSBC 63%

Best Mobile Website

Rank Provider Score
1 Nationwide 63%
2 American Express 62%
3 Marks & Spencer 57%
4 MBNA 57%
5 Tesco 55%
6 Capital One 54%
7 Barclaycard 52%
8 Lloyds 50%
9 NatWest 50%
10 Halifax 50%
11 Santander 48%
12 HSBC 48%

Best Mobile App

Rank Provider Score
1 Nationwide 66%
2 American Express 64%
3 Capital One 58%
4 Lloyds 56%
5 NatWest 55%
6 MBNA 55%
7 Barclaycard 54%
8 Tesco 54%
9 HSBC 51%
10 Santander 49%
11 Halifax 49%
12 Marks & Spencer 46%

Best Rewards

Rank Provider Score
1 American Express 64%
2 Tesco 46%
3 Nationwide 42%
4 Marks & Spencer 40%
5 Santander 33%
6 Barclaycard 27%
7 NatWest 25%
8 Halifax 24%
9 Lloyds 24%
10 MBNA 21%
11 HSBC 14%
12 Capital One 13%

 

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