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Saving providers letting customers down

26% of complaints not handled satisfactorily

Savings - stacks of pound coins

A quarter of Which? members who made a complaint about their savings account over the past year didn’t feel it was resolved satisfactorily.

A Which? investigation into savings account complaints has revealed that one in five UK customers have had problems in the last year. Santander tops the table with the highest proportion of customers to have experienced problems during this time. 

Fifth of customers experience problems with their savings account

Our survey found that one in five of UK savings account customers have had problems with their savings account in the last 12 months. Santander’s customers were the most likely to have had difficulty with their provider as 29% claimed they’d had a problem relating to their savings account during the past year. Barclays followed with 22% of its savings customers claiming they’d experienced a problem during the same period.

Poor customer service was the most common problem overall, followed by mistakes on statements. Not being able to see the interest rate for your account online, difficulty getting through to someone to answer a question and not being informed when a bonus period comes to an end were other issues reported on.

If you have a problem with your bank, take a look at our guide to making a bank complaint

Which banks’ customers have most problems?

As with our bank account complaints research, customers of First Direct and Nationwide were the least likely to have encountered problems with their savings account, both at 12%.

The table below shows the proportion of each banks’ customers (in our survey) who have experienced problems with their savings account providers in the past 12-months.

Bank Customers with problems
Santander 29%
Barclays 22%
Lloyds TSB 19%
HSBC 19%
Halifax 18%
Co-operative Bank 15%
NatWest 14%
Nationwide 12%
First Direct 12%

Table notes

To find out about the savings account problems experienced by consumers, as well as how savings providers deal with complaints, we surveyed a nationally representative sample of 2,064 UK adults in February 2013.




Repeated banking complaints

Six in 10 of the most recent savings accounts complaints were resolved to the customer’s satisfaction. However, our results reveal that a quarter of the complaints had to be made more than once before they were resolved.

Some 33% of people told us that they didn’t think their problem was serious enough to make a complaint. However, 19% told us they didn’t complain because of the expensive phone numbers that their banks provide for complaint calls.

Banks must win back our trust

Richard Lloyd, Which? Executive Director, said: ‘There’s a lot to complain about in banking over the last few years and to win back our trust they must sort out their complaints handling. When things go wrong it is critical that banks act swiftly and fairly to deal with the problem, identify what caused it and make sure it’s not repeated.’

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