Students are most satisfied banking with NatWest and Santander, says Save the Student survey

Students should be 'well aware' of the conditions before signing up for an overdraft, warns the money advice site

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The Independent Online

Students are increasingly becoming more satisfied with their banking experience, according to a recent survey by Save the Student.

Having spoken with almost 1,100 young people, 29 per cent awarded their banks scores out of ten as NatWest took the top spot for student satisfaction, followed by Santander and RBS as more and more students become aware of the importance of financial management.

One in three scored their bank at least nine out of ten for satisfaction, as the majority revealed they stick with their existing bank when they go to university.

Despite NatWest coming top of the class, Santander, however, came out as being the most popular with 23 per cent of those surveyed banking there. NatWest (16 per cent) and Lloyds (13 per cent) came in second and third.

New technology, such as the contactless card, played a factor in banks winning the support of those at college and university, however, one fourth year student, Becky, told the survey: “It can be hard to get advice, especially as most banks have premium rate phone numbers and most students can only call from mobiles.”

On the whole, the survey found the average students will now be short of around £265 each month following the maintenance grant axe, meaning banks have to now play a very important role in bridging this gap, Save the Student said.

Editor-in-chief at the financial advice site, Owen Burek, described it as being ‘a very nice surprise’ to learn how most students are happy with their bank, although he said loyalty also comes with a risk of missing out on better deals – namely getting the highest possible interest-free overdraft.

He advised students: “If you’re lucky enough not to need the cash, still take what you can and stick it in a tax-free ISA to earn interest on it.

“Many students get stung after graduating with sudden demands for repayments or additional charges, so make sure you’re well aware of the conditions before signing up for an overdraft.”