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Bank of Ireland and Ulster score lowest in satisfaction survey

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Current account customers of Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank have rated their banks as the poorest for customer satisfaction in the UK, according to a survey by Which?.

The Bank of Ireland came bottom of the league table with a score of just 41% and scored just two out of five stars for customer service, regular communication, clarity of statements and branch availability.

The survey asked 1,631 members of the general public to rate how they find their banks on different aspects of bank services they use.

First Direct came first for the eighth consecutive time, with a top score of 85%.

It also achieved the highest recommendation score – 94% of customers said they would recommend First Direct to a friend.

Current account customers of Smile, The One Account, Co-operative Bank and Norwich & Peterborough Building Society all rated their banks highly enough for them to gain the Which? Recommended Provider (WRP) status.

High street giants Barclays, Halifax/Bank of Scotland, HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest/RBS and Santander all need to do more to to keep their customers happy – each scored below the market average of 62%.

The report pointed out that the computer glitch suffered by Ulster Bank this March – as well as previous computer faults last summer – may have had something to do with its low satisfaction rating of 45%, second from bottom in our league table.

Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director, said: “It’s clear once again that the biggest banks have a lot of work to do to improve their customer service.

“For people unhappy with their current account provider, switching should get easier and quicker from this autumn, and we hope that more customers will put pressure on the poor performers by voting with their feet.

“The Government’s proposed reforms must lead to more competition on the high street and a big change in banking so that banks put customers first, not sales.”