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Big banks retain customers’ trust

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Consumers trust established banks more than challengers, digital-only players or tech firms, research reveals.

In a survey of 2,000 people looking at which institutions consumers trust with their money, traditional banks came out on top, with four of the ‘big five’ – Lloyds, Barclays, HSBC and Santander – taking the winning spots.

Although their scores were mostly lower than last year, no bank saw a major drop in consumer confidence, according to MoneySuperMarket’s latest Banking Trust analysis.

The other ‘big five’ bank, RBS, finished in 13th place, behind the likes of Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Tesco.

When rated on a score of zero (would not trust with money at all) to ten (would trust with money entirely), Lloyds Bank was deemed the most trustworthy, scoring an average of 5.2, followed by Barclays and NatWest which both scored 5.1. HSBC saw its score rise marginally from last year, from 4.9 to 5 in 2016.

At the other end of the spectrum, technology companies and digital only banks rank as the least trusted places for people to put their money.

Metro Bank and Apple scored 3.8 and 3.3 respectively, while digital-only challenger Atom scored a measly 2.3.

However, a quarter of 18-24 year olds said they would open a current account with a tech company such as Facebook, Google, Amazon or Apple. Amazon ranked higher than more established banks Metro Bank and Standard Chartered.

A strong brand reputation is clearly important to customers. Despite not having a specific banking offering, John Lewis ranked tenth most trustworthy with money with a score of 4.5 out of ten, ahead of the likes of RBS and Metro Bank.

Kevin Mountford of MoneySuperMarket said: “2016 has been a turbulent financial year, and it’s therefore not surprising that trust still lies with the traditional banks, which offer reliability and reassurance. However, challenger banks are continuing to make a play for customers, and it’s encouraging to see the likes of Atom bank and Starling trying to disrupt the market.”

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