First Direct tops customer satisfaction survey with 90% 'great' rating

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First Direct has topped a current account customer satisfaction survey, while Barclays came bottom of the rankings.

Some 90% of First Direct customers rated its service as great, according to a survey of nearly 7,500 people from MoneySavingExpert.com.

Online and telephone bank First Direct, which offers customers £100 to switch to it, has come out best in MoneySavingExpert's regular surveys since it started carrying them out in 2010.

Nationwide Building Society was in second place, with Co-op and its Smile brand ranked third.

Coming in 13th place, 41% of people rated Barclays' service as great, while a further 40% rated it OK and 19% said it was poor.   

Matt Hammerstein, head of client and customer experience at Barclays, said: "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."

Major banks HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) were also ranked towards the end of the table.

Santander, which recently slashed the rate on its 123 current account, has been slipping down the rankings in recent months, MoneySavingExpert said.

Eighteen months ago, Santander was placed second, behind First Direct, but in the latest survey carried out in February, it came fifth.

Helen Saxon, chief analyst at MoneySavingExpert.com, said: "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."

Banks or building societies with fewer than 100 votes were not included in the research.

Here is the current account service rating for February 2017 according to MoneySavingExpert.com's survey, with the percentage rating providers as great, followed by OK, followed by poor. Results and rankings from a previous survey in August last year are in brackets:

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 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 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 41% (43%), 40% (36%), 19% (21%)