First Direct's current account customers have given its service glowing feedback in our latest banking poll with more than 90% rating it 'great', so there's no surprise it's yet again held on to the top spot.
In fact, First Direct has trumped its contenders by winning every single banking service poll we've ever conducted. We first began asking you to rate your provider's customer service levels in our biannual poll in 2010.
At the other end of the scale, Barclays has been ranked as the worst current account provider for the third time in a row – despite unveiling its Blue Rewards scheme in April, which sees current account customers pay £3/month to get at least £7/month in return.
However Barclays isn't the only banking giant to score badly, as NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) – both part of the RBS Group – fell from ninth to tenth and from eleventh to twelfth respectively.
In comparison HSBC has improved, climbing from twelfth place in our last poll to eighth place now, although it's still a long way off from contending with the top providers.
If you're unhappy with your bank, use your feet and switch. See our Best Bank Accounts guide for the top deals, including free £240, 5% interest or free travel insurance.
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The full results
Here are the full poll results, as voted for by our readers:
|1 (1)||First Direct||92% (92%)||7% (6%)||1% (2%)|
|2 (4)||Santander (i)||75% (73%)||21% (22%)||4% (5%)|
|3 (3)||Nationwide Building Society||74% (73%)||21% (23%)||5% (4%)|
|4 (2 & 5) (ii)||Smile and Co-op||73% (N/A)||20% (N/A)||7% (N/A)|
|5 (6)||Halifax (iii)||60% (57%)||32% (33%)||8% (10%)|
|6 (7)||TSB||58% (55%)||34% (35%)||8% (10%)|
|7 (=9) (iv)||Bank of Scotland||49% (47%)||37% (37%)||14% (16%)|
|8 (12)||HSBC||46% (43%)||41% (41%)||13% (16%)|
|9 (8)||Lloyds Bank||46% (47%)||40% (40%)||14% (13%)|
|10 (=9) (iv)||NatWest||44% (45%)||43% (41%)||13% (14%)|
|11 (13)||Clydesdale & Yorkshire||43% (43%)||41% (40%)||16% (16%)|
|12 (11)||Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)||43% (45%)||39% (39%)||18% (16%)|
|13 (14)||Barclays Bank||38% (39%)||42% (43%)||20% (18%)|
|9,285 votes in total from our readers. Ranked based on two points for each great %, one for each ok % and zero for poor. We've excluded banks with fewer than 100 votes. (i) This is an average of the 123 account and other Santander accounts. (ii) This time round we have combined Smile and Co-op results, in February they were separate. (iii) This is an average of the Reward account and other Halifax accounts. (iv) There was no tenth place in our last poll as there was a joint ninth place.|
'Customer service really counts'
Guy Anker, managing editor at MoneySavingExpert.com, says: "With current accounts, customer service really counts. Whether you bank online or in a branch, this is the one financial product you do genuinely have a real day-to-day interaction with.
"Our index shows once again the strength of First Direct's service and the continued improvement from Santander, which used to languish at the bottom. However, the bottom of the pile is dominated by many high street banks. This should be seen as a stark warning that they risk losing customers if they don't raise their game.
"Anyone unhappy with the service they're getting from their bank needs to ditch it, especially as some of the best deals are from banks with good service. Switching is no longer the chore it used to be – all your direct debits and standing orders can be moved within seven working days, and any payments made in error to your old account will be auto-forwarded."
What does Barclays say?
A Barclays spokesperson says: "Our goal is not just to meet our customers' expectations but to exceed them and to remove any cause for complaint. For this reason, we are continually working to simplify our products and services, create greater transparency and free up our colleagues to help customers."