Which? launches campaign for better banks

Which? today launches its ‘We Deserve Better Banks’ campaign  calling for coordinated action by the regulators, government and industry to:

  • Ensure banks listen to their customers about the quality of service and culture they expect;
  • Give customers better tools to put them in control of managing their money;
  • Tackle unfair unauthorised overdrafts.

Our latest banking customer surveys have yet again found the big banks struggling to match the satisfaction levels of their smaller rivals. Royal Bank of Scotland comes bottom of our table, based on surveys of over 20,000 people, with Barclays and NatWest also in the bottom 10. For overall satisfaction, the gap between the bottom and First Direct (74%) at the top is a shocking 21 percentage points. When we looked specifically at ‘customer service’ on current accounts, less than half of the providers scored more than three out of five stars.

Some banks have proven they can get it right for their customers, with First Direct receiving an overall score of 74% and Metro Bank customers saying they felt ‘valued’ and the ‘opening hours are very good’,  yet because of a lack of competition this is not driving up standards effectively enough across the whole industry.

Which? is concerned that the Competition and Markets Authority’s current proposals to reform the current account market are too focused on getting people to switch, rather than tackling the unfairness faced by unauthorised overdraft users and focusing on mechanisms to that will ensure banks are held to account for how they treat their customers and putting customers in control of their accounts.

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said:

“It’s high time the industry put its customers first and the competition inquiry needs to ensure that banks are held to account for the way they treat their customers. The big players in this market need to get on the front-foot and improve services for their customers, instead of waiting to be forced into action.”

To sign the Which? petition and support the We Deserve Better Banks campaign visit www.which.co.uk/betterbanks

Notes to editors

  1. Best and worst survey:We surveyed 20,204 people between September 2015 and January 2016. Across four separate surveys, we asked people how satisfied they were with their current account, savings account, credit card and mortgage providers, and how likely they were to recommend them to friends and family. For each category we weighted and combined responses to give a customer score, and then combined the score from each survey to create an overall score. For a provider to be given an overall score, it needed to have a minimum sample size of 30 responses in at least two product areas, and its products must be open to new customers.
  2. More details of our ‘We Deserve Better Banks’ can be found here: www.which.co.uk/betterbanks
  3. Banks received more than 1.4 million new complaints in the first half of 2015, with complaints about current accounts alone rose by 31%.
  4. Banking complaints are the biggest type of complaint query to the Which? Money Helpline.
  5. For a full copy of the tables, contact lloyd.purnell@which.co.uk / 02077707562

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