Industry Research : The Best and Worst Banks This Year for Customer Service
First Direct, the internet and telephone banking offshoot of HSBC, has once again topped the tables for the best customer service, with more than 90% of its current account customers rating its service as "great".
The bank has won every MoneySavingExpert bank account service poll since the website started the survey six years ago.
Santander has also climbed up the rankings thanks to its popular 123 Current Account. TNS, a consultancy, released data earlier in the year showing that more current account customers were moving to Santander than any other bank.
Although the 123 account has been the main draw for switchers, the Spanish-owned bank has also vastly improved its customer service.
Defaqto, an independent financial research company, rated Santander’s switcher service "five-star", while our own Telegraph poll asking: "Has Santander improved in the last four years?" showed that 78% of just over 1,400 voters said "Yes".
The Co-operative Bank was rated a very respectable fifth in the poll. It admitted last week that it had lost almost 40,000 customers in the first half of this year. The bank's ethical reputation has been tarnished by a string of revelations, including a financial black hole being discovered in its accounts and a drugs scandal involving its former chairman Paul Flowers.
It is hard to compare how it has changed in the rankings as MoneySavingExpert has in the past grouped it with its internet-only offshoot Smile. In the last survey, Co-op was in third place.
Barclays fell from sixth place in February, to the bottom of the table. Last year, campaign group Move Your Money rated Barclays as the worst financial institution out of 70 assessed in a test for honesty and customer service.
Order calculated by zero points for poor, one for "OK" and two for "great". 7,875 votes in total – banks with fewer than 100 votes not included
A spokesman for Barclays said: "Even one dissatisfied customer is one too many, and we are constantly working hard to improve and innovate our services. Whilst this survey doesn’t tally with our comprehensive and independent customer satisfaction scores, we will learn any lessons we need to in order to do better in future."
Although other banks rated worse than Barclays – as those which received fewer than 100 votes were not included – it is the first time the bank has fallen so low in the tables.
Guy Anker, managing editor at MoneySavingExpert.com, said: "The bottom of the pile is dominated by some of the giant high street banks.
"It's astonishing that over half of the account holders at four major banks voted the service they get is just "OK" or "poor". This should be seen as a stark warning that the big banks risk losing customers if they don't raise their game."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Wednesday, September 3, 2014