Revealed: The best and worst banks

RBS takes wooden spoon in MSE banking poll while First Direct keeps its crown

RBS has taken bottom place in the latest banking poll from the UK’s biggest consumer website,, with just 37% of its customers rating its customer service ‘great’. Holding onto its winning streak, First Direct is top of the table - unbeaten since MSE started the poll in 2010 - with a stonking 90% of its customers voting its service ‘great’.

Nationwide and Smile/Co-Op Bank remain in second and third place, keeping their good customer service scores, while Santander takes the fourth place spot.

Still languishing at the bottom of the table are high street stalwarts Natwest, HSBC and Barclays, with less than 50% voting their services ‘great’.

Over 6,000 MoneySavers took part in the survey, which is done twice a year.

Guy Anker, managing editor of, says: “Customer service is key when it comes to bank accounts – for most, it’s the part of their finances they use the most and if something goes wrong, it has the biggest impact.

“The results of our poll show the old-school banks are still stuck at the bottom of the table, and if they don’t up their game, they’ll lose even more customers to the challenger banks who are consistently at the top.

“Switching has never been easier, so there’s no excuse to stay with a bank you aren’t happy with. Under the Current Account Switch Service it takes seven working days and all payments into and out of the old account will be switched automatically too. Better still, some of the accounts that pay you the most to switch have good customer service scores too.”

The results in full

Current account service rating August 2017 (results and rankings from February 2017 in brackets)

2017 rank





1 (1)

First Direct

90% (90%)

7% (7%)

3% (3%)

2 (2)

Nationwide Building Society

74% (80%)

20% (17%)

6% (3%)

3 (3)

Co-op and Smile

68% (70%)

24% (20%)

8% (10%)

4 (5)

Santander (i)

63% (62%)

30% (31%)

7% (7%)

5 (4)


64% (63%)

27% (29%)

9% (8%)

6 (=7)

Halifax (ii)

50% (50%)

39% (38%)

11% (12%)

7 (=7)


50% (50%)

37% (38%)

13% (12%)

8 (9)


47% (48%)

39% (38%)

14% (14%)

9 (12)


46% (43%)

37% (36%)

17% (21%)

10 (13)


43% (41%)

42% (40%)

15% (19%)

11 (11)

Royal Bank of Scotland

37% (44%)

42% (39%)

21% (17%)

A total of 6,111 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 for February 2017 appear in brackets. Tesco Bank ranked sixth in February’s poll but didn’t receive enough votes to appear in our latest results. Clydesdale and Yorkshire ranked tenth in February’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.


Notes to editors

For more information, see the MSE Best Bank Accounts guide.

For more comments, please contact:

Katie Watts

Tel: 020 3846 2631

Mob: 07875 415 378

About is dedicated to cutting consumers’ bills and fighting their corner. The free-to-use consumer finance help resource aims to show people how to save money on anything and everything, and campaigns for financial justice. It was set up in 2003 for just £100, and its free-to-use, ethical stance quickly made it the UK’s biggest independent money website, according to internet ranking site, and the number one ‘Business and Finance – Business Information’ site, according to Hitwise. It has more than 12 million people opted-in to receive the weekly MSE’s Money Tips email, and more than 16 million unique monthly site users who visit more than 28 million times a month. In September 2012, it joined the Group PLC.