Shrewd consumers are probably aware of the annual customer satisfaction surveys run by organizations such as Which? and Money Saving Expert. However, earlier this year the Government released the results of a much larger official independent survey. The CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) revealed the ratings of 16,000 customers at banks with more than 150,000 current account holders. They rated their provider on how likely they would be to recommend their bank, online and mobile banking, overdraft, and branch services. The CMA is now requiring these banks to publish the results in branches as well as on their websites. This will allow customers to compare banks much more easily and find the best service for them. It is a part of several new measures requiring banks to publish their performance details. These include security incidents, IT issues, and how long services take.
Which Banks Have the Best Customer Service?
These survey results more or less match up with the findings of Which? and Money Saving Expert. The same few banks are at the top, in the middle, and at the bottom of each of their rankings. This reinforces the quality of the consistently higher-ranking banks – and lets you know which ones you should definitely avoid for current accounts.
First Direct Customer Service
First Direct tops the charts for overall service quality and online and mobile banking services. It ‘s tied for first for overdraft services, but it has no branches to judge in-branch service. It’s unsurprising that it’s the best choice for online and mobile banking, since these are the services First Direct offers as a telephone and internet-based bank.
Metro Bank Customer Service
Another high scorer is Metro Bank. It comes second to First Direct in overall quality and online and mobile services. However, it shares a joint first place with them for overdraft services. Without any First Direct branches to compete with, Metro Bank also claims the top spot for branch services. They’re the best choice if you like to bank in person.
Nationwide Customer Service
With the tagline “on your side” you would expect great customer service from Nationwide. They place third for the quality of their overall service and branch services. Unfortunately, they drop to fourth for online and mobile banking and fifth for overdrafts. Despite some room for improvement here, they tend to offer the best interest rates as well.
Coventry Building Society Customer Service
The second largest building society in the UK after Nationwide is the Coventry Building Society. It also ranks after Nationwide in fourth place for overall service quality. It does manage to beat out Nationwide for branch services, coming in second. However, it drops to seventh for overdrafts and down to second-to-last for online and mobile.
Barclays Customer Service
One of the banks tying for fifth in overall quality is Barclays. They come in at a respectable third for both online and mobile and overdraft services. However, their branches have let them down with a steep drop to ninth place. Their main benefit seems to be their online and mobile banking, with an app that lets you add accounts with other banks.
Santander Customer Service
In joint fifth for their overall standard of service is Santander. They stay a solid fifth for the quality of their branch services as well. Although, they do drop to sixth for their online and mobile service, then to eighth place for their overdraft service. There are some perks to draw you to Santander, but also stricter conditions for maintenance.
Which Banks Have the Worst Customer Service?
There are a few banks which have some good services, but end up in the middle of the pack due to other poorer services. These providers include Lloyds Bank, Halifax, TSB, and NatWest. If you are currently a customer with one of these banks, at least they aren’t as terrible as the following banks. You should avoid them if you want to switch.
Clydesdale Bank Customer Service
Clydesdale Bank actually ties for last place in the rankings for overall service. What drags them down into a certain last place out of all of these other banks is their consistently low ratings. They come in last every time for online and mobile, overdraft, and branch banking services. The few perks they offer don’t make it worth being a customer.
RBS Customer Service
The Royal Bank of Scotland ranks joint last for the overall quality of their banking services. This probably isn’t very surprising to their customers, as they also receive consistent poor reviews. Their overdraft and branch services rank second-to-last, while their online and mobile services are third-to-last. Barely less abysmal than Clydesdale.
The Co-operative Bank Customer Service
The Co-operative Bank experienced some controversy in 2013, but their level of customer service hasn’t tried to make up for it. It comes in joint thirteenth with HSBC. It also shares twelfth place with Yorkshire Bank for online and mobile banking, tenth place with NatWest for overdrafts, and ninth place with Barclays for branch services.
HSBC Customer Service
Sharing the low spot of thirteen out of seventeen is HSBC. Their online and mobile banking options are slightly better than their overall service ranking, coming in at joint tenth with TSB. They drop down to eleventh for services in HSBC branches. What makes them more appealing than the Co-operative Bank is being fourth for overdrafts.
Yorkshire Bank Customer Service
To be fair, Yorkshire Bank is joint seventh for overall service with Halifax, so it isn’t too bad. That said, their online and mobile banking plummets down to joint twelfth with the Co-operative Bank. They share both tenth place for overdraft services and twelfth place for branch services with NatWest, but NatWest is ninth in the other matters.
Bank of Scotland Customer Service
Not to be confused with RBS, Bank of Scotland isn’t quite so terrible. They do rank twelfth for overall service quality, though. They jump up to eighth for their online and mobile banking quality and then sixth for branch services, but drop down to thirteenth for their overdrafts. They edge on middle of the pack as the best of the worst, but that’s all.
The Overall Verdict:
BEST UK BANKS 2018: First Direct, Metro Bank, Nationwide
WORST UK BANKS 2018: Clydesdale Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, Co-operative Bank