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Best and worst banks

By Chiara Cavaglieri

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Best and worst banks

Discover the best and the worst banks for customer service, rated by thousands of current account customers. Plus our bank closures map.

Best and worst banks 

Twice a year, we ask bank account customers to rate how satisfied they are with their current-account provider. The table below reveals the best and worst banks for customer service. 

We also compare the best bank accounts if you stay in credit and the best bank accounts for authorised overdrafts

 
Customer satisfaction for banking
Provider Customer service Regularity and clarity of communications Dealing with queries and complaints Service in branch Telephone service Internet service Customer Score
First Direct 82%
Nationwide 77%
Coventry BS n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 76%
Metro Bank n/a n/a 75%
Marks and Spencer Bank n/a 71%
Tesco Bank 70%
Cahoot n/a n/a n/a 68%
TSB Bank 67%
Co-operative Bank 66%
Virgin Money n/a n/a n/a n/a 65%
Citibank 64%
Danske Bank n/a n/a 62%
Bank of Scotland 62%
Yorkshire Bank 62%
Santander 62%
Lloyds Bank 62%
Smile n/a n/a n/a 61%
Clydesdale Bank 60%
Halifax 60%
Barclays Bank 58%
HSBC 56%
NatWest 56%
Royal Bank of Scotland 55%
Ulster Bank n/a n/a 42%
Average Customer Satisfaction Score n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 64%
Table notes:
n/a = sample size too small
Average overall customer satisfaction score is 64%
Sample sizes: First Direct (344), Nationwide (403), Coventry BS (30), Metro Bank (33), M&S Bank (76), Tesco Bank (139), Cahoot (38), TSB Bank (368), Co-op Bank (237), Virgin Money (37), Citibank (43), Danske Bank (34), Bank of Scotland (221), Yorkshire Bank (104), Santander (410), Lloyds (402), Smile (36), Clydesdale Bank (80), Halifax (407), Barclays (394), HSBC (398), NatWest (400), RBS (243), Ulster Bank (37),  Total sample size: 5,041.

Our research

Customer scores are based on a survey of an online panel of respondents from the general public who were invited to take part in the bank account customer satisfaction survey during March 2017. The final sample size was 5,041.

Overall customer scores are worked out using a combination of overall satisfaction and how likely the respondents are to recommend their bank to a friend. Companies need at least 30 responses to be given a rating.

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Which? Recommended Providers

Recommended Provider Icon BA

Which? Recommended Providers are companies that are both rated highly by the respondents of our unique customer survey and have products that meet the high standards of our researchers.

  • To feature as a Recommended Provider, a company must have achieved a top score (at least 70%) in our latest customer satisfaction survey.
  • Providers must also have at least one top 10 bank account for credit interest, overdrafts or current account mortgages.
  • Providers must be fully covered by the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and FCA Banking Standards regime.
  • Which? Recommended Providers of bank accounts must offer a free debit card, free direct debits and free withdrawals from UK cash machines, and accounts must be available nationally. 
 
Provider Which? verdict Customer
score
Average score of all current account providers rated by Which? Money 64%
First Direct Owned by HSBC. First Direct will pay £100 if you switch. Customers need to pay £1,000 into their account or will face a monthly £10 fee. First Direct 1st Account comes with a £250 interest-free overdraft.

Which? Recommended Provider badge

82%

Nationwide If you recommend a friend to its FlexAccount, FlexDirect or FlexPlus you get to share £200. Its FlexDirect account pays 5% on balances up to £2,500 in first year (1% thereafter).

Which? Recommended Provider badge

77%

M&S Bank Switch to M&S and get £125 gift card and up to an additional £60 when you stay for 12 months. You can also get access to its best rate regular savings account.

Which? Recommended Provider badge

71%

Tesco Bank Offers 3% interest on balances up to £3,000 guaranteed to 1 April 2019. Earn one Clubcard point per £1 spend in Tesco.

Which? Recommended Provider badge

70%

Bank branch closures

Some people are happy banking purely online. But others may need to do at least some transactions face-to-face. So which banks have been shutting branches? 

In autumn 2016, Which? analysis found a total of 1,046 branches were shut between January 2015 and January 2017. More than 482 major bank branches will also be axed in 2017, bringing the total number of closures to 1,526 since the start of 2015.

RBS plans to shut 161 branches this year, HSBC 118, and Lloyds Bank 100. Customers in Scotland will see 72 branches closed for good this year, followed by South East England (68), South West England (61) and London (58)

The map below shows the number of closures in each local authority area per 100,000 people. You can use the search bar to find your local area, filter between banks or choose a year to see when branches closed or are due to close.

               

Bank branch closures in my area

The table below lists all the banks that have shut, or are due to shut in 2017. You can search for your local authority or postcode to find closures near you.

 

 

 

  • Last updated: May 2017
  • Updated by: Chiara Cavaglieri
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