- Nearly half (46%) of customers do not believe that their main bank or building society has their best interests at heart
- 44% do not think their main bank or building society understands their personal banking needs
- Less than a third (30%) state that their main bank or building society supports their financial goals
- Less than half (41%) trust their main bank or building society to offer the best products and services for them
London, 14th August 2023 - New research from NTT DATA UK&I, a leading innovator and IT services provider for the banking and financial services industries, provides some concerning insights regarding customer satisfaction and trust in the retail banking industry.
Only a third (33%) of banking customers are currently ‘very satisfied’ with their overall experience with their main bank or building society, and only 11% strongly believe that their bank always prioritises their best interests.
The survey, which questioned a representative sample of 2,000 retail banking customers in the UK, set out to discover customer opinion and levels of trust with their bank or building society, in light of the Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA) Consumer Duty. The new rules came into force on 31 July 2023 and set higher and clearer standards of consumer protection across financial services, requiring firms to put their customers’ needs first and ensuring good customer outcomes.
NTT DATA’s research found that nearly half of banking customers do not believe that their bank has their best interests at heart, with the mistrust increasing with age. More than half (51%) of those aged 50 and over do not agree that that their main bank or building society has their best interests at heart, compared to only a third (33%) of 16- to 26-year-olds.
In fact, there were age discrepancies across the board, with older generations less likely to agree that their bank or building society offers them the best products or services for them, helps them manage their finances, or supports their financial goals.
Understanding the customer’s needs
The research makes it clear that the majority of customers are not feeling supported by their bank or building society, particularly when looking ahead to the future. Less than a third (30%) stated that their bank or building society supports their financial goals, and only 38% trust their bank or building society to provide them with personalised advice.
Most worryingly, less than half (44%) do not think that their bank or building society understands their personal banking needs, with those in lower income brackets more likely to feel this way. Nearly three quarters (73%) of those earning over £100,000 believe that their main bank or building society understands their personal banking needs, compared to just 53% of those earning up to £12,749, 60% of those earning between £12,750-£24,999, and 55% of those earning £25,000-£49,999.
Jo Bevan-Taylor, Head of Business Consulting - Banking and Financial Markets at NTT DATA UK&I comments on the findings: “While the research doesn’t outline a completely bleak picture, it is concerning to see the overall lack of trust and dissatisfaction customers have with their banks and building societies currently, and it highlights the work retail banks have ahead of them.
“Importantly, banks need to focus on all groups when considering how they will approach the changes they need to make, in order to ensure they aren’t ostracising vulnerable groups. Looking at some of the discrepancies between income and age groups, there are some clear differences in how customers view the products and services they receive. Retail banks need to consider the varying needs of these groups and ensure they do not alienate individuals through inaccessibility for example.”
Bevan-Taylor continues, “Now that the new Consumer Duty rules are in place, banks and building societies not only need to prioritise customer satisfaction, personalised communication, and trust-building initiatives, but they will need to report on key areas too. This means it will be essential to focus on the design of the user experience, as well as building the right data analysis tools. It’s imperative that retail banks address these needs as soon as possible to ensure they increase customer trust and satisfaction while not finding themselves in breach of the rules.”
NTT DATA UK&I conducted a representative survey of 2,000 banking customers in the UK. The survey ran from 20th-27th July 2023.