Today we launch our campaign for better banks, calling for coordinated action from the regulators, government and the banking industry.
Our latest banking customer surveys of more than 20,000 people have yet again found that the big banks are struggling to match the satisfaction levels of their smaller rivals.
Royal Bank of Scotland has come bottom of our table, with Barclays and NatWest also in the bottom 10. And then we looked specifically at ‘customer service’ on current accounts - less than half of the providers scored more than three out of five stars.
Some banks have proven they can get it right, with First Direct and Metro Bank performing well in our surveys. However, a lack of competition means this isn’t driving up standards across the whole industry.
Holding banks to account
We’re concerned that the Competition and Markets Authority's current proposals to reform the current account market are too focused on getting people to switch. The regulator should also focus on mechanisms that will ensure banks are held to account for how they treat their customers and to put customers in control of their accounts.
Our executive director Richard Lloyd said at the launch of our campaign:
‘It’s high time the industry put its customers first and the competition inquiry needs to ensure that banks are held to account for the way they treat their customers.
‘The big players in this market need to get on the front-foot and improve services for their customers, instead of waiting to be forced into action.’
Sign our petition
If you agree that we all deserve better from our banks, then please sign our petition and get your friends and family to do the same.
Last year, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) agreed that the market wasn’t working well enough for consumers, and opened a major investigation. Today, we’re calling on the CMA to make sure it goes beyond fixing the basics and comes up with new solutions that will force banks to sit up and take action.
We want to see reforms that will deliver genuinely better banking services for everyone. But what does this actually mean?
Well, what if the Competition and Markets Authority considered increasing compensation levels for people who experience terrible customer service, or naming and shaming the worst providers? Or how about banks being required to proactively help customers who regularly slip into their unauthorised overdraft, rather than just hit them with high charges?
It’s clear that the CMA has a big job on its hands, but this is the perfect opportunity to propose remedies that would finally shake up this sector and make banks respond better to the needs of their customers.