Major high-street banks all score below average on customer satisfaction

All the major high-street banks score below average in the latest Which? customer satisfaction ratings, yet between them they dominate the UK banking market.

Santander and Halifax are in the bottom two places in the latest Which? analysis of customer satisfaction ratings of 30 financial brands, scoring 46% and 48% respectively, well below the average score of 62%. Bank of Scotland (49%), Royal Bank of Scotland (50%), Lloyds (51%), Barclays (54%), Natwest (56%) and HSBC (60%) all perform poorly too.

However, these banks dominate high-street banking, accounting for more than 80% of the current account market.

The findings come ahead of the launch of a major new Which? campaign calling for fundamental changes in banking culture to put customers first.

Savings account customers are the most unhappy with many frustrated that loyalty doesn’t seem to pay and complaining they have to check up on interest rates and switch accounts to get the best deals.

Royal Bank of Scotland has performed consistently badly in Which? surveys over the past three years and came 27 out of 30 for overall brand satisfaction this year, despite launching its customer charter two years ago to make it ‘Britain’s most helpful bank’.

Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director said:

“Consumers are constantly being let down when it comes to customer service. This is not good enough, we want to see fundamental changes in the culture of banking and a return to banking for customers, not bankers.

“Our survey shows that those banks that go the extra mile to keep their customers happy are rated far higher than banks who may offer slightly better products or interest rates. All banks need to start putting customers first.”

Notes to editors:

1 Over the last year, we have asked Which? members how satisfied they are with their current account, savings account, credit card and mortgage provider for the main UK financial service providers and whether they would recommend the provider to a friend. We analysed and combined the results from these four surveys to give an overall score for all providers we were able to rate in at least two of the four product areas.

2 Members were also asked to rate their bank on aspects of their services including experience of customer service, how good banks are at resolving problems, how knowledgeable bank staff are and whether banks keep their customers informed about charges and the best deals.

3 General public market share for the biggest banks is more than 80% according to Mintel, Packaged and Current Accounts April 2012 (Base: 1,880 internet users aged 16+ who have a current account).

4 View our Best and worst financial brands

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