Bigger Banks Leave A Lot To Be Desired


Banks have dominated the financial and popular news of late.  With calls from the government, campaigns by the media and angry consumer groups calling for banks to ease up on lending and to pass on some of their profits to ease their customers financial burdens imposed by the high street financial institutions.

In a survey by ‘Which’ published earlier this week, all banks were rated in four separate areas, mortgages, savings, current accounts and credit card services.  The customer satisfaction survey undertaken in January 2010 and June – July 2009 singled out 4,224 members of the ‘Which’ Consumer Group, asking for their opinion and to rate banks on a 1-5 customer satisfaction poll asking for feedback on: interest rates; overall cost of deal; clarity of statements; customer service and keeping up-to-date with rate changes.

Strangely enough it was the smaller banks that came out on top with First Direct (owned by HSBC) leading with 89%, while the larger high street banks, as those which are backed by the taxpayer fared low on the table, with the Bank of Scotland trailing at the bottom with just 41%, (the overall average of the survey was 61%) as the table below indicates.

As other news this week suggested that fixed-rate mortgages are now costing the customer 4.55%, banks are being accused of profiteering from customers on fixed-rate deals.  The ‘Which’ survey strongly suggests that the larger banks are found lacking in most of their key areas including customer care and could be seeing a mass exodus of customers who have become unsatisfied with their present service.

‘Which’ Mortgage Lender Satisfaction Survey

1.   First Direct                            89%

2.   Co-Operative Bank               78%

3.   One Account                         77%

4.   Coventry BS                         73%

5.   Britannia BS                         72%

6.   Nationwide BS                     68%

7.   Intelligent Finance               67%

8.   HSBC                                   66%

9.   Skipton BS                           62%

10. Cheltenham & Gloucester    61%

11. Yorkshire BS                        61%

12. Woolwich                             60%

13. Natwest                                 55%

14. Alliance & Leicester             54%


15. Royal Bank of Scotland        54%

16. Standard Life Bank               53%

17. Barclays                                53%

18. Abbey (Santander)                49%

19. Lloyds TSB                           48%

20. Northern Rock                       45%

21. Halifax                                   44%

22. Bank of Scotland                   41%

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