Santander has the most intuitive savings account and ranks fastest for account opening time when compared with nine other leading UK banks, according to Worship’s inaugural Savings Account Audit.
The banks were scored on new customer eligibility criteria, ease of finding eligibility criteria, understanding the options, account opening experience and mobile site speed.
Santander came out in first place with a score of 59.5 out of 70, with Metro Bank following closely behind with 58.7 points and Halifax at 54.9. TSB ranked lowest with 22.4 points.
The top three, in addition to Lloyds and Cooperative Bank, all scored in the 50s, while HSBC, RBS, NatWest, Barclays and TSB couldn’t make it past the 30-point mark, highlighting a clear divide in the savings account market.
Worship asked six users to open a savings account with a bank other than their own and with an aim of keeping these funds separate from their current account.
All users opened accounts on all 10 banks’ websites, used an iPhone 6S Plus and Google Chrome and the investigation took place between 25th April 2019 and 25th May 2019.
The report reveals users felt keeping their savings in a different online banking system would prevent them from spending the money, but only Santander, Metro Bank, Halifax, Cooperative Bank and Lloyds allow non-current account customers to open a savings account online.
HSBC ask new customers to go to a branch to open a savings account, while the other four leading banks do not offer this product to new customers.
Worship also timed how long it took users to find information about new customer account eligibility and the difference was staggering.
The average time for RBS was 46 seconds, while on TSB’s website, by far the lowest scoring bank with an average of 4 minutes 5 seconds, users were frustrated because the information was on a table that required them to scroll horizontally and as a result, scrolled past it a number of times.
All 10 banks scored fairly highly when users were asked to consider the different savings products available to them and their understanding of factors such as interest rates, eligibility and access.
Participants complimented Barclays, Cooperative Bank and Halifax’s website navigation, Metro Bank’s savings calculator and NatWest and RBS’ easy to digest information but were overwhelmed by the number of accounts HSBC offered and were confused by Lloyds offering ISAs as instant access savings accounts.
Discounting banks that do not permit non-current account holders to open savings accounts, the Worship Savings Account Audit also revealed that Santander has the fastest account opening experience with an average time of 3 minutes 24 seconds.
The Spanish bank also ranked highest for account opening experience and the users liked being asked how frequently they wanted interest to be paid, but at times were frustrated when asked to reenter information.
Participants also had issues with reentering information on the Metro Bank, Halifax and Lloyds Bank websites and felt a numerical keypad for numerical fields would have solved problems.
Worship’s managing director Nina Mack advised “allowing non-current account customers to open a savings account online to start the relationship with a low commitment product then sell the current account proposition once they are a savings account customer.”