First Direct has once again been crowned king of customer service in MoneySavingExpert.com's biannual banking poll, while Barclays has the dubious honour of taking home the wooden spoon.
Of the thousands of current account customers who responded to our survey, a whopping 90% of those who graded First Direct rated it 'great' for service, which was enough to see the bank hold on to the top spot.
First Direct has been unbeaten at the top of the table since we started the poll in 2010, while Barclays has always hovered around the bottom – it dropped to last place in our latest poll after slipping behind HSBC.
Santander, which has performed well in recent years, has dropped a place since our last poll and now sits in fifth, while Royal Bank of Scotland has fallen two spots from ninth to eleventh.
We survey MSE users to see how they rate banks' customer service, with almost 7,500 responding to this month's poll. (The poll was launched before the announcement by Co-op Bank that it is putting itself up for sale).
If you're unhappy with the service from your bank, take action and switch. You can find the best deals in our Best Bank Accounts guide.
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The results in full
|1 (1)||First Direct||90% (91%)||7% (6%)||3% (3%)|
|2 (2)||Nationwide Building Society||80% (79%)||17% (17%)||3% (4%)|
|3 (3)||Co-op and Smile||70% (72%)||20% (23%)||10% (5%)|
|4 (5)||TSB||63% (71%)||29% (22%)||8% (7%)|
|5 (4)||Santander (i)||62% (71%)||31% (23%)||7% (6%)|
|6 (n/a)||Tesco Bank||63%||27%||10%|
|7= (7)||Lloyds||50% (50%)||38% (35%)||12% (15%)|
|7= (6)||Halifax (ii)||50% (58%)||38% (34%)||12% (8%)|
|9 (10)||NatWest||48% (46%)||38% (36%)||14% (18%)|
|10 (11)||Clydesdale and Yorkshire||46% (44%)||37% (37%)||17% (19%)|
|11 (9)||Royal Bank of Scotland||44% (48%)||39% (33%)||17% (19%)|
|12 (13)||HSBC||43% (38%)||36% (44%)||21% (18%)|
|13 (12)||Barclays Bank||41% (43%)||40% (36%)||19% (21%)|
|A total of 7,467 people polled. Ranked based on two points for each 'great' %, one for each 'OK' % and zero for 'poor'. When scores are tied, the bank with the better 'great' rating goes ahead. We've excluded banks with fewer than 100 votes. Results and rankings from August 2016 appear in brackets. Bank of Scotland ranked eighth in August's poll but didn't receive enough votes to appear in our latest results. (i) This is an average of the 123 account and other Santander accounts. (ii) This is an average of the Reward account and other Halifax accounts.|
'Customer service really counts'
Helen Saxon, chief product analyst at MSE, says: "Customer service really counts with banks as current accounts are the one financial product you use pretty much every day, and the one that has the most impact if something goes wrong.
"Once again our poll shows how widely customer service varies between current account providers, with First Direct coming streets ahead of most others. High street banks repeatedly dominating the bottom of the table need to start listening to their customers or risk losing them to better-performing rivals.
"If you're unhappy with your bank's service, switching current account has never been easier – and many of the best accounts are from those with good service as well. Banks will normally move all your direct debits and standing orders to the new account in just seven days, and payments into the old account will be auto-forwarded."
What do the top and bottom scorers say?
A spokesperson for table-toppers First Direct says: "We set out to make our customers' experience really painless – whether they come to us online or by phone – and if we can put a smile on people's faces while doing it then all the better.
"We never accept that good is good enough, and we're always looking to improve, so to be recognised by our customers in the latest MoneySavingExpert.com poll is fantastic, but we never take it for granted and we know we need to keep on delivering."
A Barclays spokesperson says: "We are encouraged that over 80% of survey respondents rated our service 'great' or 'OK' but we know we have more to do. We want all our customers to have an excellent experience every time and we will not stop until we achieve this."