Which? response to the revival of the Williams & Glyn’s brand as a ‘challenger bank’

In response to the revival of the Williams & Glyn’s brand as a ‘challenger bank’, Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd said:

“Greater competition in retail banking is urgently needed to tackle the unhealthy dominance of our biggest banks, forcing them to compete for customers by offering better service and products. It’s good to see a new entrant to the market but Williams & Glyn’s must now show they can deliver a genuinely consumer-friendly alternative to the high street banks. We need a big change in banking, with banks that work for customers, not bankers.”


1. In a recent investigation into banking complaints, we found:

– 26% of UK bank customers, equivalent to 12 million people, have had problems with their current account in the last 12 months;

– Two-thirds (66%) of customers with current account problems complained to their bank;

– A fifth (22%) of banking complaints about current accounts are not dealt with satisfactorily;

– Three in ten (29%) of those who complained had to make their complaint more than once before it was resolved; and

– Of those who didn’t complain, nearly one in five (19%) said they didn’t think their bank could solve their problem and a quarter (24%) didn’t want to call an expensive phone number.

[Populus, on behalf of Which?, interviewed 2,029 UK adults online between 22nd and 24th February 2013.]

2.  ‘Big Change’ is calling for:

·         Bankers to put customers first, not sales.

·         Bankers to meet professional standards and comply with a code of conduct.

·         Bankers to be punished for mis-selling and bad practice.

3. The Payments Council seven day switching guarantee will make it easier for consumers to vote with their feet and switch provider when they are unhappy. Which? will be monitoring the new 7 working day switching process and has developed seven tests to assess how it is working for customers:

Seven days – does the switching process work?

Willing – are more people switching?

Innovation – has it led to new products and service?

Trust – do people have more confidence in the switching process?

Competition – is this shaking up the market?

Hassle-free – what happens when things go wrong?

? – did people get a better deal and are they happy with their provider?