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Starling and Monzo voted best current accounts

Written by: Emma Lunn
The digital banks beat the high street giants in the 2020 Which? current account survey.

Which? surveyed 4,501 members of the public about their current account provider and found Starling topped the table for current account satisfaction.

The consumer champion’s customer scores combined overall satisfaction and likelihood of recommending the provider to their family or a friend.

Which? also asked customers to rate various elements of the banks’ service to generate ‘star ratings’. These include overall customer service, complaints-handling, service in branch plus telephone, online and mobile banking.

The best banks

Starling took the top spot in the Which? survey this year with a score of 88%, after being voted second in the same survey in 2019. It has now been named a Which? recommended provider.

Customers praised its ‘clear and honest communications’, the ease of opening an account and using the app, as well as speedy responses from the ‘excellent customer service’, which is available 24/7 via the app and over the telephone.

Although it started life as a smartphone bank, Starling launched online banking for all customers in October 2020.

Monzo came second in the Which? survey with a score of 82%. However, it is not a Which? recommended provider due to its lower-than-average product score and the fact that it’s yet to sign up to the voluntary Contingent Reimbursement Model (CRM) code, aimed at reducing bank transfer fraud and increasing reimbursement for victims.

However, First Direct and M&S Bank have been declared Which? recommended providers.

First Direct slipped from first to third place in the survey this year but achieved a very respectable score of 79%, while M&S Bank’s customer score was 77%.

Banks that need to do better

Tesco Bank and Citibank were voted the worst providers in the Which? survey, each with a customer score of 60%.

Despite featuring in the top six in 2018, Tesco Bank fell out of favour after it cut its current account interest rate to 1% in early 2019.

It stopped paying interest altogether from 22 September 2020. It has recently announced that it is no longer accepting new current account customers.

TSB, which has a customer score of 63%, will follow in Tesco Bank’s footsteps by ceasing to pay interest from December.

Citibank and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) are the only two providers to get two stars out of five for overall customer service.

RBS holds this year’s unwanted record for the most two-star ratings overall, with customers unimpressed by its telephone service, account benefits, complaints handling and branch service.

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