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Disgruntled Brits would ditch traditional banks for John Lewis, Amazon

29 August 2012  |  9801 views  |  0 Savings house in hands

With the reputation of high street banks in the gutter, Brits are open to the idea of switching their allegiance to potential rivals, such as John Lewis and Amazon, from outside the industry.

Retailers like Tesco, Sainsbury's and Marks & Spencer have all moved to take advantage of the public dissatisfaction with traditional lenders that has simmered since the 2008 banking crash and, according to a poll of 1275 people from uSwitch, other brands would also prove a hit if they followed suit.

Just under three quarters of those quizzed say that they would trust John Lewis if it moved into banking while 46% would trust the department store chain's supermarket business Waitrose. More than a quarter of respondents would trust Asda, 24% e-commerce giant Amazon, nine per cent eBay and 2.4% would even be happy with budget retailer Poundland.

Asked which providers offer good customer service, 69% say supermarkets and retailers - such as M&S and Tesco - that have moved into banking, while 48% opt for new players such as Virgin and Metro Bank, and 60% building societies. In contrast, just 37% pick traditional high street lenders while foreign-owned banks such as ING Direct and Santander fair even worse, with 34%.

On the question of who provides value for money in a banking context, supermarkets again come out on top, with 52%, compared to 48% for new entrants and just nine per cent for high street players.

Given this perception, 80% of those quizzed would consider moving to a non-traditional banking provider, with nearly half saying that they are more likely to switch than they were a year ago.

Michael Ossei, personal finance expert, uSwitch, says: "It's a telling reflection of the UK banking industry that consumers are willing to put their trust in brands that have no previous banking experience. Consumer confidence in banks has been battered these last few years and recent scandals and IT fiascos have done little to win customers back.

"While traditional high street banks are still generally viewed as the most secure and experienced providers to bank with, new entrants are hot on their heels and winning customers over with their untarnished reputations and promise of superior rates and customer service."

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