MSE News

Is your bank's customer service a pleasant or peasant experience? See how your bank fared in our latest poll

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Twice a year we poll MoneySavers to check how their banks have treated them recently – 'great', 'OK' or 'poor'. Our summer poll closed this week. It's always surprising how well banks do generally compared with other sectors – here are the results, with links to banks that feature in our top picks.

MSE banking customer service poll July 2021

Rank + provider 'Great' 'OK' 'Poor'
1. Starling Bank 97% 2% 1%
2. Monzo 92% 5% 3%
3. First Direct 85% 7% 7%
4. Co-operative Bank (incl Smile) 69% 18% 12%
5. Bank of Scotland 65% 23% 12%
6. Santander 61% 26% 13%
7. Nationwide 67% 13% 19%
8. Lloyds Bank 58% 27% 16%
9. Halifax 55% 31% 14%
10. RBS 58% 21% 21%
11. NatWest 53% 23% 24%
12. Barclays
PS: If you're happy with Barclays, there's a way to make it give you £3/mth.
49% 25% 27%
13. Virgin Money 46% 19% 35%
14. HSBC 40% 27% 33%
15. TSB 30% 28% 42%

6,853 votes in total between 13 and 20 July 2021. Only banks with 75+ votes included. Rankings based on two points for each 'great' %, one for each 'OK' % and zero for 'poor' (after rounding to the nearest %). Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding. To see the full results, check our July poll)

Since the last poll, First Direct has lost a little ground on Monzo and Starling. This echoes the bank's own apology that its call waiting times have increased, due to misjudged demand as lockdowns lifted.

Its Trustpilot rating has plummeted far further – likely as those who have had problems have probably seen that as a destination to vent – while most customers in our poll still really rate it. One to keep an eye on.

The latest results mean two of the three top-rated banks are now app-only, and none of the top three has any branches.

At the other end of the scale, TSB took the wooden spoon, with only 30% of its customers saying its service was "great". If you're unhappy with your bank's service you can currently get a free £125 to switch, though this is to HSBC, which came in second-last, just ahead of TSB. The highest rated bank with a switching offer is currently First Direct with £100 – see our Best Bank Accounts guide for more info.

What do the banks say?

A Starling Bank spokesperson said: "We recruit people passionate about customer service and we empower them to look after customers. We don't manage our 24/7 service through strict performance indicators such as average times for calls. We let our agents decide when they need to take a break so they are at their best when customers need them."

A First Direct spokesperson said: "We’re obviously disappointed to have dropped places in the MSE service poll and will be doing everything we can to climb back up. As Covid restrictions have eased we’ve seen the number of calls increase by 19% in the last month, and at the same time our absence rates have increased 14%. We’d like to offer our sincere apologies to all customers who’ve not received the level of service they would normally expect. We know how frustrating it is when you need to speak to us and can’t get through straight away."

A TSB spokesperson said: "Our focus remains on helping our customers improve their money confidence and their experience with TSB. A clear example of that is supporting our customers against the fastest growing crime in the UK with our unique Fraud Refund Guarantee."

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