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Which is the worst bank for customer service? It’s Britain’s newest

Simon Read

TSB core brand mark 300x123 Which is the worst bank for customer service? Its Britains newestTSB has today been branded the worst bank for customer service. Handing it the dubious honour were users of the MoneySavingExpert website. Some 9,000 of them voted, which gives the figures some validity, although its poor vote may well reflect the high number of disgruntled customers still feeling disaffected after being shunted off from Lloyds Banking Group last year.

Topping the table is online bank First Direct – owned by HSBC – whose customers are more than twice as likely to rate their bank’s service as “great” compared to those of TSB.

Lloyds TSB was split into two banks six months ago and millions of customers were automatically transferred to TSB in one of British banking’s biggest shake-ups. Account holders who were shifted to TSB are more disappointed by the service they’ve received than those that remained with Lloyds. TSB has been busy marketing itself as a community-focused enterprise with an emphasis on local banking, but it seems they have yet to persuade customers of its value.

The website first did a similar survey in 2008, and since then Spanish-owned Santander has moved from rock bottom to 2nd place – but only for its Santander 123 account.  The full results are below…

Current account service rating, February 2014 (Results and ranking from August 2013 in brackets)
Rank Provider Great OK Poor
1 (1) First Direct 92% (93%) 6% (6%) 2% (1%)
2 (3) Santander 123 74% (75%) 22% (20%) 4% (5%)
3 (2) Co-op (incl Smile) 71% (76%) 23% (18%) 6% (6%)
4 (4) Nationwide 67% (73%) 26% (22%) 7% (5%)
5 (5) Santander (all) 64% (62%) 28% (27%) 8% (11%)
6 (6) Halifax Reward 51% (56%) 40% (35%) 9% (9%)
7(7) Halifax (all) 45% (53%) 43% (37%) 12% (10%)
8 (8) Barclays 46% (48%) 40% (40%) 14% (13%)
9 (n/a) Lloyds 45% (n/a) 40% (n/a) 15% (n/a)
10 (12) HSBC 42% (44%) 43% (42%) 15% (15%)
11 (13) Bank of Scotland 40% (36%) 44% (43%) 16% (15%)
12 (8) Yorkshire/Clydesdale 40% (51%) 41% (40%) 19% (10%)
13 (10) NatWest/RBS Group 37% (48%) 46% (39%) 17% (14%)
14 (n/a) TSB 37% (n/a) 43% (n/a) 20% (n/a)
Order calculated by 0 points for poor, 1 for OK and 2 for great. 8,915 votes in total – we’ve ignored banks with fewer than 100 votes.

Since I published the blog TSB has been in touch with the following statement:

Paul Pester, TSB’s CEO, said: “Any customer who feels unhappy with TSB is one too many for me. However, given what we had to put our customers through last year to create TSB and given the well-publicised failure in Lloyds Banking Group’s systems which affected our customers I’m not surprised some customers are upset: I would be.

“The fact is we are on a mission to deliver the best customer experience in banking. And we’ve started. 70% of 23,587 customers we asked last month about the service they have received from TSB scored us either nine out of 10 or 10 out of 10. The team at TSB and I won’t rest until 100% of our customers score us 10 out of 10.”

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  • Shorne

    I really don’t understand some aspects of this. I was with Lloyds/TSB before the split and when given the choice I anticipated there would be ‘teething troubles’ and opted to stay with Lloyds. It required some time and effort on the ‘phone and internet but I was pleased with the result. I do wonder that if some people allowed themselves to be ’shunted off’ as the article puts it well….?

  • fourthletter

    If you got shunted to TSB and were not happy surely you could just close your account and open another with Lloyds?

  • lomile

    The Totally S***t Bank sent my new debit card to the wrong address FIVE times. They then proceeded to mess up a loan application THREE times “we forgot to send out the letter”. It also took them four months to sort out a mortgage on a property I already own. I had to get head office to Fax my branch to get them to answer the phone! The customer service is non existent – eight weeks now waiting for them to respond to my complaint! I have moved my account to First Direct, thank god – they actually pick the phone up and speak to you. The TSB is awful and does not deserve to be in business. Banking is a service industry isn’t it?

  • Rolls

    I am staggered to discover there a worse banks than Santander. I’ve been trying to close an account with them for 18 months. I could write a book on the incompetency and farce of banking with them. First Direct are a joy to bank with. I can only assume the majority of Santander’s customers lost the will to live before the survey was carried out.

  • Andy

    I recently deposited two sizable Australian checks to my premier TSB account. these were sent to a third party who then tried contacting TSB for authorization, when they didn’t receive any they then sent to the cheqcks to an old Irish address rather than the address on the forms. I have since re-deposited the checks and its been nearly 6 weeks and no sign of the money. I have contacted TSB who told me they can’t track the money. Absolutely shocking service. Once my money clears I am jumping ship.


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