Fewer would recommend bank to friend

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The Independent Online

In a further blow to banks struggling as hard to rebuild their public reputation as their private capital, a survey of their customers today shows increasing dissatisfaction with the service they receive.

Leading consultancy firm Accenture carried out a survey of current account customers at the end of last year and again this spring. The survey discovered that the banks' relationships with their customers are "under increasing pressure several years after the financial crisis began – with loyalty, satisfaction levels and behavioural patterns posing new challenges".

In particular, Accenture found that the number of British high street bank customers likely to purchase their next financial product from their current provider declined from 66 per cent to 46 per cent; and those who had actually purchased new products from their bank within a 12-month period fell from 29 per cent to 22 per cent; and the number of British customers declaring themselves satisfied with their high street bank declined from 84 per cent to 73 per cent.

The number of respondents who would recommend their provider to family and friends fell from 64 per cent to 58 per cent. The complaints ratio rose from 14 per cent to 17 per cent, and one bank received complaints from nearly one in three customers over a 12-month period.

"These results provide further evidence that even several years since the financial crisis hit, the relationship between banks and their customers continues to decline," said Peter Kirk, senior executive in Accenture's financial services practice and author of the research.

The survey suggests that banks have a problem with their newest customers. For 18- to 24-year-olds – are 50 per cent more likely than others to move to another bank, though this may merely reflect the rising financial pressures from unemployment and student finance in this age group.