RBS crowned Least Trusted provider - again

RBS Bank

RBS has been named least trusted financial provider for the third time in four years at the Moneywise Customer Service Awards. The troubled bank suffered the same fate last year, and in 2012.

Most recently RBS customers have been blighted by an IT failure that resulted in 600,000 of them see money go missing from their current accounts. Customers from across its network of brands were affected - including NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, Ulster Bank and Coutts. Adding insult to serious injury, the bank sent automated messages to some of those concerned informing them they had been charged for using unauthorised overdrafts.

Moreover, back in May the bank reported a loss of £1.3 billion after misconduct and restructuring charges took their toll. It was fined £334 million for rigging the foreign exchange market and it had to put aside a further £100 million for settling mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) policies.

See all the results from this year's Customer Service Awards here

Failure across the board

However, the bank's fate in this year's awards was sealed long before these latest scandals hit the headlines. While a lot of Moneywise readers told us they took objection to its poor corporate reputation, most complaints were of a more personal nature.

For instance, one very unhappy former customer told us: "My mother took out a two-year bond at 5%. When she did not receive the first interest payment she went to our local RBS branch to find out what had happened. They had failed to send the paperwork away and so the bond had not been opened.

"RBS refused to honour the two years at 5% and would only give us a year at 5%. When we went in to get the money out to go into another bond after a year they then tried to charge us a £10 withdrawal fee. We complained and they did waive this, but I would never take out a product with them and advise all my friends not to do so. I think the way we were treated was appalling."

Another told us that they had an account closed without notice or any explanation being offered. They described their experience of trying to get to the bottom of the matter with customer services as coming up against "a brick wall".

The bank was also the least trusted provider in our current account and mortgage categories, with the competitiveness of rates and accounts being its customers' biggest bugbear.

In the personal loan category, it was RBS's NatWest brand that was named worst provider – again let down by its competitiveness of rates. Currently, a £10,000 loan over four years comes with an interest rate of 4.9% APR, which would cost customers £229.84 a month, or £11,032.33 over the full loan term.

By comparison, the cheapest loan available through Moneywise.co.uk/compare at the time of writing was Nationwide's personal loan charging 3.6% APR. Over the four years it would cost £224.01 a month, or £10,752.24 in total. That makes the NatWest loan £280 more expensive than the Nationwide version.

However, in the last banking category, RBS group was spared a further public flouting. Vanquis Bank was named the least trusted credit card provider, with its lack of rewards and high APRs (currently as high as 39.99%) aggravating many voters. One Moneywise reader said of the company: "They are rip-off merchants, with terrible rates of interest and they prey on people who have been in debt."