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First Direct and Metro Bank top current account satisfaction poll

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Thousands of current account customers were polled to reveal which banks topped the service charts and how likely they would be to recommend the products to their family and friends.

The bi-annual personal banking service quality poll by Ipsos Mori on behalf of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is an important marker for both customers and providers as firms are required to display the results in branch and online.

This time round, nearly 14,000 people were polled, representing around 865 customers of each participating banking provider (the largest 16 in total).

When asked how likely customers would be to recommend their personal current account provider, 83% of First Direct users said ‘extremely likely’ or ‘very likely’.

This was closely followed by Metro Bank (82%) and Nationwide (74%). Royal Bank of Scotland trailed with a score of 46%.

When it came to online and mobile banking services, Metro Bank came top, with 85% likely to recommend the provider to others. Barclays and First Direct came in joint second place with 83%.

Tesco Bank came bottom with a score of 62%.

Asked about overdraft services, First Direct came top with 74%, followed by Metro Bank at 70% and HSBC with 62%.

Clydesdale Bank and Bank of Scotland languished at the bottom with a customer satisfaction score of 48%.

However, in April many providers will hike overdraft fees to around the 40% mark so it will be interesting to see how these results will pan out once the next survey is published in August.

Customers were also asked how likely they would be to recommend their provider’s branch service to others and again Metro Bank scooped the top spot with 84%, followed by Nationwide with 80%, and Lloyds Bank with 71%.

The Royal Bank of Scotland again had the lowest score with 50%. First Direct and Tesco weren’t included as they don’t operate branch networks.

‘Nowhere to hide’

The competition watchdog said by shining a light on banks’ relative performance, the survey aims to drive up competition between providers, resulting in a better overall experience for people. From August, the survey results will also feature new banks Monzo and Starling.

Adam Land, senior director at the CMA, said: “The power is increasingly in customers’ hands when it comes to banking services – it is now easy and safe to switch provider if you feel you can get a better deal elsewhere. The results of this survey should help with that. We want people to ask themselves: am I happy with the service I am getting, or could I be getting better treatment from someone else?

“The fact that providers have to publish this data in branch and on their websites means that there is nowhere to hide – providers should always feel the pressure to climb the league table by improving their services to attract more customers.”

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