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The nation’s most and least popular banks

John Fitzsimons
Written By:
John Fitzsimons

Royal Bank of Scotland and Tesco Bank are the least popular bank account providers in the UK, a new survey has revealed.

The study was conducted by pollsters Ipsos Mori on behalf of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), with account holders polled across 2020 on how likely they would be to recommend their provider to friends and family.

Here’s how the banks ranked in the study:

Bank Percentage who would recommend their provider to friends or family
Monzo 85%
First Direct 83%
Starling Bank 82%
Metro Bank 76%
Nationwide 71%
Barclays 66%
Lloyds Bank 64%
Halifax  62%
Bank of Scotland 61%
NatWest 58%
HSBC 58%
Santander 57%
Co-operative Bank 57%
Virgin Money 54%
TSB 53%
Tesco Bank 47%
Royal Bank of Scotland 47%

It’s notable how well challenger banks perform in this study, with the likes of Monzo and Starling Bank winning over a legion of advocates. 

This follows the latest Current Account Switch Service data which found that both banks have seen significant jumps in the number of people banking with them. The latest data covers the third quarter of 2020, with Monzo seeing a net increase of 9,157 customers, while Starling enjoyed a net increase of 12,652.

Monzo and Starling also picked up awards for their current accounts at the latest Which? awards

However, the Ipsos Mori survey makes less positive reading for Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Tesco Bank. For both, less than half of those who currently bank with the firms would recommend them to a loved one.

Looking at the individual areas respondents were polled on, Tesco Bank performed particularly poorly on its online banking service, coming bottom with a score of 62%, as well as its overdraft services where it notched up a score of just 43%.

Meanwhile RBS was the least impressive performer when respondents were quizzed on how likely they would recommend their provider for its branch services, at just 49%.

Improving service

Adam Land, senior director at the CMA, said that the league tables produced as a result of these polls were an “invaluable resource” for people looking to identify the best bank for their needs.

He added: “By being able to access data on the best and worst performing banks and building societies, people can easily compare providers, driving more competition to improve the overall quality of service.”