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Best and worst banks: Challenger banks record high levels of customer satisfaction, while TSB slumps

Smartphone-only challenger bank Monzo has soared to the top of Which?’s bank account satisfaction survey, which also saw TSB slump to the bottom following a turbulent year of IT failings.

Which? surveyed thousands of members of the public to determine overall customer satisfaction with their bank’s current account and how likely they are to recommend that brand.

Monzo came first with an impressive customer score of 86 per cent, finishing just above telephone and online-only First Direct, which scored 85 per cent.

For the first time, Monzo had a large enough sample size to be included in Which?’s customer satisfaction analysis and it immediately hit the top spot. Both Monzo and First Direct also achieved five stars for customer service.

Nationwide Building Society (79%) finished third and Metro Bank came fourth (76%), meaning challenger banks finished in two of the four top spots.

Monzo current accounts must be operated entirely from a smartphone, so the bank will welcome having scored full marks for both communication and its app in the customer star ratings.

At the other end of the table, TSB and Bank of Ireland were joint bottom on 58 per cent, meaning Bank of Ireland has finished bottom twice in a row – with little sign of improvement.

Meanwhile, TSB’s turbulent year, which was plagued by IT crises that left millions of customers locked out of their accounts, saw the bank slump from fourth the last time the research was carried out to joint-bottom spot.

More than half (56%) of TSB customers told us they had experienced technical issues in the past year and the bank scored poorly on customer service, telephone and online banking and complaint handling – with two out of five stars in these categories.

At the bottom of the table, Ulster Bank scored 63 per cent, followed by Royal Bank of Scotland on 60 per cent just ahead of TSB and Bank of Ireland in joint last place. All of the bottom four banks scored just two out of five stars for customer service.

Which? wants to encourage bank customers unhappy with their current service to weigh up other options on the market and make the switch to a better provider.

Most banks have signed up to the current account switching service, which means it should take just seven working days to switch to a new account.

Gareth Shaw, Money Expert, said:
“Impressive results from challenger banks place them well ahead of many of the biggest banking brands in Britain, showing that innovation and modern ideas are shaking up the market, with good customer service truly valued by customers.

“Meanwhile, TSB’s slump suggests that customers felt outraged to have endured the prolonged IT issues that left millions locked out of their accounts.

“Our research shows a clear gap between the best and worst providers and should act as a catalyst for customers unhappy with their service to switch banks – as it’s never been easier.”

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