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Banks must publish quality of service information

Banks are now compelled to publish information on how likely customers are to recommend their services to friends, relatives or businesses, following action from regulators.

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Action taken by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) comes after a review of retail banking in August 2016 by the competition watchdog, which ordered lenders to publish customer ratings figures twice a year.

 

The surveys, carried out by independent research agencies GfK UK and BDRC, will be repeated with results published every six months. More than 16,000 customers were surveyed in total.

 

Royal Bank of Scotland came joint-bottom of the inaugural personal banking league table, along with Clydesdale, with fewer than half of their customers likely to recommend them.

 

First Direct came out on top, with approximately 85 percent of customers likely to recommend it, while Metro Bank was a close second with 83 percent.

 

The CMA also requested the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) build on the move by making banks release further information on their performance and services to drive up standards in a bid to make it easier for people to judge whether they are with the best bank for them.

 

From February 2019, the FCA will expect that banks publish figures on how long it takes to open current accounts and replace debit cards.

 

Adam Land, senior director at the CMA, said: “For the first time, people will now be able to easily compare banks on the quality of the service they provide, and so judge if they’re getting the most for their money or could do better elsewhere.

 

“This is one of the many measures – including Open Banking and overdraft text alerts – that we put in place to make banks work harder for their customers and help people shop around to find the best deals for them.”

 

Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said: “Getting a good deal isn’t just about pricing. It’s also important for customers – including individuals and small businesses – to be able to judge the quality of service around their current account and to see whether other providers could offer something that suits them better. This information should encourage providers to offer the services that people value.”

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