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Usual suspects fail to make customers smile, says Which? Money

20 Aug 2010

(Press release created by Which? Money)

The big high street banks continue to fall short of customers' expectations, with the smaller banks, such as first direct and Smile, yet again topping the Which? Money People's Choice poll*.

The consumer champion's annual round-up of Which? member satisfaction surveys reveals their best and worst financial brands in four key areas - current accounts, savings, credit cards and mortgages. first direct , One Account and Smile scored best, leaving Bank of Scotland, Halifax and Santander at the bottom of the table**.

Excellent customer service remains key to keeping customers happy, as first direct came top in three satisfaction surveys - current accounts, savings and mortgages - giving it an overall score of 82%. Current account mortgage experts, One Account, came in second with a score of 81%, while Smile came third with 79%***.

Consumers looking for happy banking should steer clear of banks owned by the Lloyds Banking Group, as Bank of Scotland and Halifax both sit at the bottom of the table, and Lloyds TSB and Cheltenham & Gloucester don't score much better****.

Which? chief executive, Peter Vicary-Smith says:

"Whether it's a current account, mortgage, credit card or savings account, we consistently see the same names keeping their customers happy.

"Time and again, the big high street banks are found to be lacking when it comes to good customer service. People who are unhappy with their bank must vote with their feet and move to a better financial provider."

- Ends -

For more information contact miranda.akhurst@which.co.uk / 020 7770 7615

Notes to editors

* In October/November 2009 and April 2010, Which? Money surveyed 14,621 Which? members about current accounts and 13,524 about savings accounts. In January and June 2010 Which? Money surveyed 4,522 members about their mortgage lenders, and in July 2009 and March 2010 10,758 members were surveyed about their credit card providers.

To calculate the individual customer scores, Which? Money combined members' overall satisfaction with their likelihood of recommending the provider to a friend.

** / ***     

Customer score (%)

Mortgage

Savings

Current account

Credit card

Overall score 

 

first direct     

87

74

88

78

82

One Account  

78

n/a

88

n/a

81

Smile  

n/a

n/a

85

83

79

Co-operative Bank   

74

70

86

76

76

Coventry BS   

69

64

n/a

n/a

71

Cahoot 

n/a

58

71

n/a

68

Nationwide BS  

67

57

72

74

67

Tesco Bank    

n/a

58

n/a

74

66

Saga   

n/a

55

n/a

74

65

Yorkshire BS   

64

59

n/a

n/a

65

Brtiannia      

71

50

n/a

n/a

64

Yorkshire Bank 

65

58

63

n/a

64

Egg    

n/a

54

n/a

71

63

Intelligent Finance 

64

55

66

n/a

63

HSBC   

65

52

58

65

60

Marks & Spencer

n/a

44

n/a

76

59

Skipton BS     

56

55

n/a

n/a

59

Clydesdale Bank

65

50

53

n/a

58

Sainsbury's Finance    

n/a

47

n/a

68

57

Standard Life Bank   

51

56

n/a

n/a

57

Alliance & Leicester   

52

48

57

n/a

54

Barclays/Woolwich   

59

48

53

57

54

Lloyds TSB    

56

48

54

54

53

Natwest

55

48

54

56

53

RBSb    

53

47

55

n/a

53

CITI 

n/a

45

n/a

57

51

C&Gd    

56

40

n/a

n/a

50

Northern Rock  

43

49

n/a

n/a

49

Santander/Abbey

48

39

47

57

47

Halifax

43

42

48

54

46

Bank of Scotland      

38

42

45

n/a

43

AVERAGE

60

52

61

66

59

a New mortgages no longer available. b Royal Bank of Scotland. c Includes Shell and Citibank d Cheltenham & Gloucester.

The table shows the providers we were able to rate in at least two of the four core product categories that we carry out customer satisfaction surveys for - mortgages, savings , current accounts and credit cards. The overall score is created using relative customer scores for each sector.

**** Bank of Scotland came bottom of the table with an overall score of 43%, Halifax's overall score was 46%, Cheltenham & Gloucester's score was 50% and Lloyds TSB scored 53%.

The full article 'People's Choice 2010' appears in the September 2010 issue of Which? Money magazine.  For further information, the full article, a copy of the magazine or an interview, please contact Miranda Akhurst

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