Latest best and worst banks revealed. Where does your bank rank?
It’s that time of the year again when we get the latest six monthly report of the best and worst banks. As a surprise to absolutely no-one, HSBC’s online and telephone offspring First Direct is still number one, and no-one can remember a time when it wasn’t*. With a massive £150 switching bonus and more than 90% of current account customers rating First Direct’s service as "great", the only surprise is why we don’t all bank with First Direct.
Although this is probably because we are lazy and can’t be bothered to switch, the new switching service has seen an increase in the number of people switching, but rather than going to the top rated bank, most switchees are switching to Santander’s extremely popular 123 current account because it gives you money back and 3% interest and stuff. Still, five years ago the Spanish bank was totally rubbish at customer service, coming rock bottom, yet is now maintaining a very respectable second place spot.
Although Smile has also maintained the third position it shared with the Co-operative Bank last time around, despite losing almost 40,000 customers already this year, the beleaguered Co-op still managed a not-to shabby fifth place. TSB, the friendly bank, came an embarrassing last place in February, but has now climbed to a much improved 7th this time.
But TSB’s rise comes at the cost of one of the other banking giants’ falls. Although an unnoteworthy mid-table player six months ago, Barclays has now dropped like a stone to the very bottom of the table. Ouch.
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."
*because First Direct have won every poll since it was started six years ago, that’s why.