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Thursday 18th of September 2008
September 14, 2007

British public satisfied with their bank


by Kay Murchie
”British

Following a survey by This is Money, 65% of respondents said that they were satisfied with their High Street bank in spite of the recent press on lending practices and bank charges.

Furthermore, according to the first JD Power and Associates UK Retail Banking Customer Satisfaction Study, nearly 75% of banking customers would recommend their bank to others and 50% have already done so over the last 12 months.

The study also established that traditional values are important to customers when choosing a bank - family recommendations and long-term relationships play a vital role in customer satisfaction.

The JD Power study is timely as Alistair Darling, the chancellor, criticised the nation’s banks for irresponsibly lending to consumers and using complex investment vehicles during the global credit crisis. The chancellor’s comments follow those of Mervyn King, Bank of England governor, who highlighted that he would not bail out those banks in financial trouble after taking too many risks.

In addition, High Street banks have been subject to criticism over the last 12 months alleged unreasonable penalties on unauthorised overdrafts, which will result in a High Court case brought by the Office of Fair Trading in January 2008.

JD Power commented that despite these results, banks should not become complacent. Despite recommendation levels being high, banking institutions should still take note of their customers as 1 in 7 plan to switch their financial institution in the next 12 months. Banks should also note that overall retail banking satisfaction levels are low in comparison with other sectors.

The survey measured 6 factors that drive overall customer satisfaction. These include transactions (online, branch, in-person, ATM and telephone), account opening/product offerings, fees, account statement, problem resolution and convenience. Overall, customers rating transactions were the most important issue.

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