MSE News

TSB crashes to the bottom of our customer service poll - check how well your bank did

TSB has crashed to the bottom of our banking customer service poll, with almost half of those who rated it describing its service as 'poor' over the last six months.

Just under 5,000 current account customers responded to our latest survey, with 49% of those who graded TSB saying its service was 'poor' and 23% deeming it 'great'. The bank, which came fourth in our last poll in February, has seen months of chaos following its IT meltdown in April.

First Direct held onto its crown yet again, with a stonking 89% of those who rated the bank reporting 'great' service. It's been unbeaten since we started the poll in 2010, and also topped the Competition and Markets Authority's first official bank service league table earlier this month.

Yet First Direct is facing growing competition from digital challengers. 97% of the 99 respondents who rated app-based bank Monzo said its customer service was 'great' – but as only banks with 100 votes or more are counted in our official poll results, Monzo was one vote shy of taking top spot. Digital rival Starling also fared well, but also didn't amass enough votes to rank – for more info on digital banks, see our App-based banking guide.

Once again Nationwide retained its place as runner-up, with Co-op and Smile coming in third. TSB's fall from grace means that Santander has moved up a place to fourth, while RBS has been spared the wooden spoon to take second-last place. Other climbers include Lloyds, which has moved to fifth place from 10th, and HSBC, which claimed sixth place after coming 12th in our last poll.

If you're unhappy with your bank's service, take action and switch. See our Best Bank Accounts guide for full information, including how you can get a free £75 in cash or £185 in vouchers to switch.

The results in full

We survey MoneySavingExpert.com users twice a year to see how they rate their main bank's customer service. We've collated the results of all the banks which got 100 votes or more (to see the full results, including scores for M&S and Tesco, check our August poll):

Current account customer service rated

Rank Provider 'Great' 'OK' 'Poor'
1 (1) First Direct 89% 8% 3%
2 (2) Nationwide Building Society 73% 21% 6%
3 (3) Co-Op and Smile 67% 24% 9%
4 (5) Santander 61% 32% 7%
5 (10) Lloyds 45% 40% 15%
6 (12) HSBC  43% 40% 17%
7 (11) NatWest 43% 39% 18%
8 (7) Halifax 41% 43% 16%
9 (9) Barclays 41% 41% 18%
10 (13) RBS 29% 34% 37%
11 (4) TSB 23% 28% 49%
There were 4,997 votes. Rankings 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. Rankings for February 2018 appear in brackets.

What do the best and worst scorers say?

Joe Gordon, head of First Direct, said: "Our priority is to deliver a consistently amazing experience to all our customers, so we're thrilled to be recognised again. We never take the MoneySavingExpert polls for granted and taking top spot means a great deal to us because it's recognition of the hard work our people put in every single day.

"We know more and more consumers view service quality on a par with price when making decisions about banking services, so our focus is on continuing to exceed expectations. Since 1989 we've not taken our foot off the pedal, and – whether it's our people on the phones and social media, or innovations in our apps and website – we're constantly looking for ways to improve further."

A TSB spokesperson said: "We're sorry for the problems customers experienced as a result of our IT switch. Regrettably this is why our scores are low in this poll. Our priority is putting things right for our customers and we're making good progress with improvements in our service levels."