CCR Magazine

You are here  :Home arrow News arrow Banks see drop in satisfaction as complaint handling worsens
Contact Us Newsletter Signup RSS Feeds

Latest News Headlines


Commercial Credit News

  • FSB on weak Scottish jobs figures
    Official figures published today show that Scottish unemployment grew between December and February. Further, Scottish employment also fell over the… More


Banks see drop in satisfaction as complaint handling worsens PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 25 February 2016

Banks and building societies have seen their customer satisfaction scores fall, with consumers citing poor complaint handling as a key reason behind their frustration.  The latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) also reveals that whilst banks do ‘get it right first time’ more often than organisations in other sectors, when things do go wrong, it is the extent of staff engagement and empathy that lets organisations down.

Published by the Institute of Customer Service, the UKCSI report for the banks and building societies sector reveals that the way members of staff deal with complaints is one of the weak points in their customer service delivery. For example, just 21 percent of consumers say their complaints ‘are dealt with immediately’ and only 13 percent said the member of staff they spoke to ‘took responsibility’ for resolving the issue. This has resulted in satisfaction scores falling by almost half a point this year, to 78 (out of 100), after reporting steady increases since 2009.

Banking on good customer service
However, it is not all bad news for the sector.

With a score of 85.7 (out of 100) first direct tops the sector Index, followed by Nationwide on 83.7. Both are also listed amongst the top 10 UK organisations in the pan-sector list. TSB (81.5) and Yorkshire Bank (81.3) are in third and fourth place, respectively, and also feature in the UKCSI’s pan-sector top 50.

Additionally, when asked to think about their most recent contact, 77 percent of customers also suggest that banks and building societies ‘get things right, first time’. The score is higher for banks and building societies than the UK’s pan-sector results, which are currently 74.4 percent.

Mind the gap
The data shows that where frustrations exist, the most common cause for complaint revolves around staff competence and engagement. Just 35 percent said staff apologised for errors and only 28 percent believed that staff listened carefully to their problem.

The biggest gap between banks and building societies and the other 12 sectors analysed in the UKCSI revolves around organisations’ Net Promoter Score (NPS) – the measure showing how likely customers are to recommend an organisation to friends. While the sector has improved its NPS score since January 2015, banks and building societies remain 3.3 points behind the all-sector average of 19.1.

Jo Causon, CEO of The Institute of Customer Service, says: ”It is increasingly apparent that a clear link exists between engaged employees and customer satisfaction. One cannot exist without the other so to really drive this, a culture of service must be apparent at all levels in an organisation, but it must start at the top. Customers are more concerned today about staff attitudes and behavior than they were even 5 years ago, meaning that it is the responsibility of leaders to continually promote, support and develop employees service skills. But to succeed, they should not limit their attention to the ‘customer service department’. In today’s world, every part of a business has to be customer-facing and unless leaders adopt the mantra that customer service is everyone’s business they risk dissatisfaction levels falling.”

Channeling customer service
The research also demonstrates how the channels people use to deal with banks are continually changing. Fewer people are using contact centres, compared to this time, last year, while the numbers communicating with their bank through online channels is increasing.

There has, however, been a marginal decline in satisfaction when online communications have been used, suggesting that banks need to improve the customer experience in the digital world.

Causon concludes: “The key is delivering a more personalised, relevant and meaningful experience in an environment of the customers’ choosing. Banks and building societies need to address this issue quickly or risk losing market share to an increasing array of challenger brands.”

latest issue

CCR Cover

The latest edition of CCR Magazine, the leading editorial publication in the UK credit industry, is out.

Read the latest issue online


CCR is the premier magazine for consumer and credit professionals. It provides an independent voice to the industry, breaking major news stories and running in-depth features.

As a magazine, it works with and campaigns on behalf of the credit industry to promote its importance as a centre of potential profit and business development to the wider business world.

Subscribe to CCR Magazine

CCR World Magazine


Providing information and analysis for thousands of senior credit professionals worldwide, every quarter.

Find out more

GTS Media Ltd
81 Cambridge Road

Registered in England No: 05483197