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Santander, Barclays and Halifax among others have been ranked today by service quality, online availability and other areas. The research has been released today by the Government and it is the sixth publication which ranks the service quality of personal and business current account providers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
This release is particularly important as it covers the last year, a period in which banks and their customers were placed under extreme pressure from coronavirus.
Adam Land, a Senior Director at the Competition and Markets Authority, commented: “Lots of people don’t have time for life admin, which is why jobs like comparing providers can fall to the bottom of the list.
“These results make it easy for people to see which banks are best meeting their customers’ needs at the click of a button, which puts pressure on poorly performing banks to raise their game.
“The past year has put financial pressure on many people and small businesses, and this is the first full set of results to reflect how banks have supported customers through this difficult period.
“If the service and quality offered by your bank has not been up to scratch, you may well be able to do better.”
British banks, for personal current accounts, were ranked initially on overall service quality and a number of the more well known names were beaten by relative newcomers to the market.
The full ranking (in descending order) is as follows:
- First Direct and Starling Bank (joint second)
- Metro Bank
- Lloyds Bank
- Bank of Scotland
- HSBC UK and the Co-operative Bank (joint eleventh)
- Virgin Money
- Royal Bank of Scotland and Tesco Bank (joint sixteenth)
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Monzo and Starling bank also took the top spots for online and mobile banking services and overdraft services.
The only area in which the more historic high street brands took top position was in branch services, where the likes of Monzo and Starling Bank do not operate.
In the surveys themselves, personal and small business current account holders were asked how likely they would be to recommend their provider to a friend, relative or other business.
Questions also covered the quality of online and mobile provision, branch and overdraft services and, for small businesses, the quality of the relationship management they receive.
The results clearly show customers how their bank is rated on overall quality of service and makes it easier for people to compare offers.
The Competition and Markets Authority also argued the results should “drive up competition between providers, resulting in a better overall experience for the account holder(s).”
A representative from Starling Bank commented on its performance: “Starling has shot straight into the top of the charts for business banking on its first time of being included in these tables.
“After just three years in business banking, we’re beating the incumbents and have a six percent market share for UK SME banking. Customers love that it is so simple and quick it is to open an account and that there are no monthly fees.”
Additionally, in late July the Current Account Switching Service released data on which banks customers are switching to.
Starling bank, Monzo and Triodos, all being relatively newcomers to the industry, also took top positions in this ranking too.
Gareth Griffiths, the head of retail banking at Triodos Bank UK, commented on their performance at the time: “It’s great to see banks that challenge the status quo leading on customer gains versus those lost. At Triodos, we continue to grow steadily, and these figures show that we are a top pick for sustainable current accounts. Once again, we have the lowest numbers of customers leaving of any major bank, just as we did every single quarter last year, testament to our focus on good customer service and building our community.
“As we approach COP26, people are becoming ever more aware of the power of financial institutions to affect change. Throughout the pandemic, switchers have cited non-financial reasons as their main driver behind changing account provider. Let’s remember that the value of an interest rate or cash bonus may mask that it is being paid for by financing fossil fuels, arms or tobacco companies that undermine the fair and sustainable future that people are looking for. Banks need to match their customers’ ambition and create offerings that align with both their customers’ needs and values.”
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