For the last couple of years, the Competition and Banking Authority has required banks to publish information about their customer satisfaction, producing an official league table that can give customers a fair idea of the level of service provided. While customer service isn’t everything in banking, it’s important to know that help will be on hand if something goes wrong or you have an enquiry.
This year a number of new banks, including popular challengers Monzo and Starling, were added to the list – previously they’d been excluded because they didn’t have enough customers to produce a reliable sample. It may be their first year on the list, but they’ve performed exceptionally well: Monzo has topped the chart and Starling came in a close second.
The survey asks customers a very specific question: how likely would you be to recommend this service to your family and friends? It also breaks this down into different product categories, asking people whether they’d recommend the online and app, overdraft and branch service as well as the overall service.
86% of surveyed Monzo customers said that they would be extremely likely or very likely to recommend the bank’s overall service. Starling was just a couple of percent lower at 84%, while previous winner First Direct Also maintained a high score at 83%.
Of the traditional high Street banks, Nationwide faired best with a respectable 71%. Most popular banks scored in the high-fifties or mid-sixties – suggesting that over half of their customers would be happy to recommend them to friends or family. The worst performers were RBS at 46% and Tesco Bank at 44%.
It’s worth remembering that the sample size here is relatively small – only around 1,000 people are surveyed for each provider, and results will be published as long as 100 people send back an eligible response. This means that it’s more of a guideline than a banking bible, and you should still look at reviews and ask people you know about their experience before switching to a new bank.
If you have had a bad customer service experience with any bank then it’s definitely worth switching. Opening a new account can be done online in just a few minutes, and you can typically provide the required ID digitally too. You can open a second account while keeping your old bank account open, or you can use the switching service to effortlessly shut down your old account and move all of your payments and direct debits into the new account. Make sure you make your work aware of the change too for payroll.
Sometimes banks will offer switching bonuses for moving over to their service – at the moment you can get £100 for making the Halifax reward account your primary account. Halifax did alright in the survey, with 62% recommending their overall service and 81% recommending their app and online services. Before switching to a new bank you should also consider factors such as overdraft charges, options for savings, and whether their are any conditions that come with the account – such as paying in a minimum monthly amount.