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European banks fail to connect with customers

25 November 2008  |  1874 views  |  0 Source: Forrester Research

Only 29 percent of Western Europeans believe their bank acts in their best interest, according to Forrester Research's latest customer advocacy scorecard of European retail banks.

Based on a survey of more than 21,000 consumers, the evaluation of 46 leading banks shows that European banks' scores held relatively stable over last year, but national differences persist between the countries surveyed. German banks are again at the top of this year's list and UK banks received on average the lowest customer advocacy scores.

Customer advocacy is the perception on the part of consumers that a firm does what's best for its customers, not just the firm's own bottom line. According to the report, 60 percent of customers who view their main bank as a customer advocate would consider it for their next financial purchase, compared with only 40 percent of customers who do not see their main bank to be a customer advocate.

In this year's survey, the only bank in Europe seen as a customer advocate by more than half its customers is Sparda-Banken in Germany. Also rated high by their customers on customer advocacy are Nationwide Building Society (UK), Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken (DE), first direct (UK), and Bancaja (ES).

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