71% of UK banks have acted on customer product requests over the past 12 months

A new independent survey of 251 senior decision-makers at UK banking and financial services firms has revealed how they are responding to customers’ changing demands. It found:

  • Over the past 12 months, 71% of finance companies have worked on developing a new product as a direct result of customer suggestions
    • 77% have started to tailor products to a new demographic
  • 83% are confident in their business’ ability to meet evolving customer needs
    • Yet 63% admit their business is risk-averse when it comes launching new offerings
  • Three quarters (73%) want to see more investment into innovation

The vast majority of the UK’s banks and financial services firms are launching new products to keep pace with customers’ evolving demands, but risk-aversion and the need for more investment could hold them back, new research from Yobotahas found.

London-based technology company Yobota commissioned an independent survey of 251 senior decision-makers at UK-based banks, finance companies and financial services firms.

It found that 71% have developed a new product over the past 12 months as a direct result of suggestions put forward by their customers, with 80% saying they regularly seek feedback to assess how they can better meet the needs of their user base.

More than three quarters (77%) have started to tailor products and services to a new demographic of customers that they did not serve prior to 2021. Further, 80% of the companies surveyed said they have experienced an increase in demand for personalised financial products or services over the last year.

Changing behaviours and expectations are not perceived as a threat to business’ long-term prospects: the vast majority (83%) of banks and finance firms say they are confident in their ability to meet the evolving needs of their customers.

However, Yobota’s research unearthed support for greater spending on innovation. Almost three quarters (73%) of senior decision-makers think their company should commit more money to exploring how they can expand their offering.

Almost two-thirds (63%) of respondents said their business is risk-averse when it comes to introducing new products. Many have sought external support though, with 72% saying they worked with a technology vendor to launch new offerings over the past 12 months.

Ion Fratiloiu, Head of Commercial at Yobota, said: “The banking and finance industries are in a digital arms race, with companies competing aggressively for user retention. Customer trust is the holy grail, yet historically many have dragged their feet when it comes to delivering on big promises to put their customer first. Positively, our research shows that the tide is turning, with many firms taking action.

“There is no greater way to achieve customer satisfaction than by fulfilling their expectations. Many companies are now heeding calls for personalisation, with many also rolling out new digital offerings that will serve unmet needs. Even the best products will not succeed without a strong and engaged customer base, so it’s inspiring to see so many companies taking the time to listen to and understand their customers.

“Risk aversion evidently remains rife in this space, however, and this can stunt the development of value-adding products. Those ill-equipped when it comes to technological expertise would do well to partner with vendors who can do the heavy lifting. More generally, as firms move customers out of branches and onto digital channels, investment in underlying tech infrastructure is essential to ensure when customers call for changes, they can be implemented at speed.”