Brits still reluctant to switch bank
And with two-thirds of respondents stating they've had their existing account for 10 years or more – and just 5% having opened one in the past year – apathy could be costing them dear.
The Consumer Opinion Survey is one of the biggest polls on customer service and trust in the financial services world, with over 20,000 consumers taking part in 2013. The current survey has been open for votes since 20 December 2013 and has already attracted 11,000 people to vote for their most trusted firms.
The survey findings to date suggest the new seven-day switching service introduced in mid-September has yet to be fully embraced by consumers – although the Payments Council reported a modest year-on-year rise in switching levels of 17% for the last quarter of 2013.
Meanwhile, there certainly appears to be an appetite among bank customers to get a better deal as 54% told Moneywise that a compelling introductory offer from another bank would be most likely to make them switch provider.
And it seems several high street banks have cottoned on to this, with some offering rewards for new customers who switch to them. First Direct, for example, offers new customers £100 as an introductory reward and Nationwide is giving £50 to anyone who refers a friend to the group.
But joining rewards aren't enough to retain customers. Data from the Moneywise Consumer Opinion Survey 2014 suggests that poor customer service is the number two factor (22%) in making a customer switch their current account to another provider.
The third reason (13%) cited was feeling that they've been overcharged by their bank.
During October, November and December, the Financial Ombudsman Service received 3,568 complaints about current accounts and found in the consumer's favour in a third of cases.
Quality of service
Moneywise publisher Jeremy King said: "Switching isn't just about a headline offer, it's about ensuring that you really can expect to receive a good quality of service from your new provider. The only way you can do this is by getting the opinion of others using them.
The Moneywise survey collects information from thousands of people, which makes this possible. The winners are the companies that consistently deliver reliable and responsive service to their customers and we tell you who they are."
The winners will be announced in June at the Moneywise Customer Service Awards.
Are you happy with your current account? Would you consider switching to another provider? The Moneywise Consumer Opinion Survey 2014 is open until 31 March, so have your say by visiting moneywise.co.uk/consumersurvey.
If you’ve have a complaint about a financial service product you have bought but the company you bought it from refuses to resolve your problem after eight weeks, the Ombudsman can help. The Ombudsman will investigate and resolve the matter. The Ombudsman is independent and its service is free to consumers. The Ombudsman may find in the company’s favour but consumers don’t have accept its decision and are always free to go to court instead. But if they do accept an Ombudsman’s decision, it is binding both on them and on the business.
An account opened with a clearing bank (few building societies offer current accounts) that provides the ability to draw cash (usually via a debit card) or cheques from the account. Some pay fairly minimal rates of interest if the account is in credit. Most current accounts insist your monthly income (salary or pension) is paid directly in each month and they offer a number of optional services – such as overdrafts and charge cards – which are negotiable but will incur fees.