Source: Starling Bank
Banking challenger Starling Bank has been voted ‘Best British Bank’ at the British Bank Awards 2020. Bristol-based Triodos Bank came a close second, while Monzo slips to third spot. Tesco Bank remains the UK’s least loved bank.
Run by Smart Money People, the UK’s financial services review website, over 40,000 UK customers were asked to rate their financial providers in order to find the UK’s best and worst financial firms based on customer satisfaction. While the average customer satisfaction of the highest rated four banks has increased, overall the customer satisfaction across banking in has declined to 82%, from 84% in 2019. Michael Fotis, Founder of Smart Money People said, “While banks with unique propositions are clearly delighting their customers, for the majority of customers sticking with the large high street banks, service levels have deteriorated when compared to 2019.”
Starling Bank, which recently announced plans to open its third UK office in Cardiff, also took home awards for ‘Best Business Banking Provider’ and ‘Best Current Account Provider.’ Rival Monzo took home ‘Best Banking App’. Anne Boden, founder and CEO of Starling Bank said, “Our continued focus on the customer is what drives us and we’re proud to continue to be the Best British Bank, providing current and business accounts and great offerings such as our marketplace, competitive foreign currency rates and forward-thinking mobile banking. A big thank you to all who voted for us.”
Released alongside the list of winners is the Banking League Table 2020, which rounds-up the customer satisfaction scores from reviews left on the Smart Money People website in the last 12 months. All banks appearing in the Banking League Table received a minimum of 100 responses.
TSB & Halifax saw the biggest gains, with NatWest and Virgin Money emerging as the biggest fallers. Triodos Bank, which launched its current account proposition in 2017, is a new entrant in the Banking League Table, and emerges as the second highest rated bank overall. Bevis Watts, CEO of Triodos Bank said, “In these times of increased awareness around climate change and social inequality, our commitment to use money to positively influence these issues has never felt more relevant. We simply couldn’t have the impact that we do without our customers, so to win this award voted for by them is a significant honour. We’re celebrating 25 years of operating in the UK this year, and hope to inspire more people to demand that banks use their money to be a force for good by making sure that is invested sustainably and with social purpose.”
Banking League Table 2020
1. Starling Bank, 98.6% (no change)
2. Triodos Bank, 98.4% (new entry)
3. Monzo, 98.2% (down 1)
4. first direct, 91.0% (down 1)
5. Nationwide Building Society, 84.1% (down 1)
6. Halifax, 81.9% (up 2)
7. TSB, 81.6% (up 6)
8. Barclays, 81.1% (down 1)
9. NatWest, 78.1% (down 4)
10. Santander, 77.3% (down 1)
11. Lloyds Bank, 76.5% (up 1)
12. Virgin Money, 73.6% (down 6)
13. HSBC, 71.6% (down 2)
14. Tesco Bank, 62.1% (no change)
With challenger banks dominating the top three spots of the Banking League Table, the results underpin the importance of having unique propositions underpinned by strong digital channels like mobile apps. Data released by Smart Money People shows that 46% of consumers now prefer to bank via mobile apps, up from 39% just one year ago. Digital channels (apps and online banking) are now preferred by 79%. Branch-based banking is preferred by just 9% of the population, although 24% of customers aged 65+ still prefer branch based banking.
The voting process once again proved to be favourable for the UK’s building society sector, with the awards for ‘Best Savings Provider’, ‘Best Specialist Mortgage Provider’ awarded to regional building societies.