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Who’s the most recommended current account provider by its customers? first direct , that’s who.

15 Aug 2018

first direct has been revealed as #1 in three categories in Great Britain’s first ever industry wide service quality survey initiated by the CMA

According to data collected in an independent consumer survey required by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), first direct customers would recommend the bank for its personal current accounts.

The findings are the result of new regulatory requirements aimed at providing consumers with independent and objective information which enable them to compare current account providers.  

Customers of Great Britain’s 16 largest personal current account providers were surveyed to see how prepared they were to recommend the brand, and different categories of services provided by their bank/building society, to their friends and family. The independent survey was completed by GfK, who surveyed 16,012 adults in GB between September 2017 and June 2018.

The CMA has developed four Core Service Quality Indicators (CSQIs) for Personal Current Account providers in Great Britain with the aim of allowing customers to access comparable information on providers’ service quality*. first direct have been voted #1 in all three categories they qualified for – Overall Service Quality; Online and Mobile Banking Services; and Overdraft Services.

High visibility for CSQIs

The CMA has been prescriptive about how brands must publish the top five ranking providers (as well as their own score if they do not feature in the top five) consistently and across a range of media including branch posters, leaflets, online, and mobile. New data will be published twice a year – in August and February.

Commenting, Joe Gordon, Head of first direct , said: “We’re over the moon that so many of our customers would recommend us for our services. We believe service quality is just as important as price for consumers when making decisions about banking services.

“Anything which encourages consumers to shop around is to be welcomed, and consumers now have access to more information to help them compare the services offered by different current account providers than ever before.” 

Co-ordinated approach

In a co-ordinated approach, the finance industry and regulators are launching a further two initiatives aimed at improving service quality today (15 August 2018).

There is an FCA initiative to publish quantitative service quality metrics, and a voluntary agreement between the FCA, UK Finance, and the Building Societies Association for personal current account providers to also publish service information for people with additional needs.

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Recent research* by first direct, winner of the 2013 uSwitch Best Account Opening Service and Overall Best Current Account Provider Awards, has found that 44% of UK adults have never switched their current account and a further 27% have only moved their banking once.


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(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?


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