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Published on 27th February 2019

Building societies vs banks: Analysing customer feedback

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Over the course of 2018, mortgage and savings customers shared what’s working well and what could be better by leaving feedback on Smart Money People. We also asked mortgage brokers to share their experiences of the lenders they deal with as part of our H2 2018 Mortgage Lender Benchmark.

At a time of heightened competition across both savings and mortgages, which is likely to increase, we wanted to find out if the experience of bank and building society customers, at a sector level, was any different. What do customers really feel about the providers they choose to deal with?

So today we’re releasing a short report that sums up what we found. This report is based on the feedback received for 31 banks and 22 building societies in 2018.

Key findings: savings

  • Building society savings customers are 7% more satisfied than savings customers of bank
  • While building society savers don’t talk about interest rates as much in their feedback, they do believe they’re receiving better value for money from their providers
  • Channels are also top of mind for all customers, and a top three theme across both banks and building societies. Banks have the edge here, with the ease of opening and managing accounts standing out in particular

Key findings: mortgages

  • Building society mortgage customers are 13% more satisfied than mortgage customers of banks
  • Banks have the edge when it comes to interest rates
  • When it comes to channels, building societies perform better than banks by delivering high quality engagement via face-to-face and telephone channels
  • While customers tend to focus on people themes, such as the skills and knowledge of staff, brokers tend to focus on process themes, such as the speed to completion

Our report also highlights some of the channel preference data we’ve been collecting over the last few years, and how this is changing, at pace. 2018 marked the first time mobile apps became the UK’s most preferred channel for day-to-day banking, with over 50% of those aged 18-24 preferring this channel. However it was also this demographic that proved to be the biggest fans of telephone banking, with 15% of customers aged 18-24 preferring to pick-up the phone.

A copy of our Building societies vs banks report can be found here.

About Smart Money People

Launched at end of 2014, Smart Money People is the UK’s financial services review website. We deliver customer and intermediary insight, including benchmarking, for a range of financial firms, including banks and building societies. In 2018 we collected over 60,000 pieces of customer feedback, and as part of leaving a review, customers are asked a mix of performance, conduct and culture aligned feedback.

To discuss the content of this report, please contact Michael Fotis, Nate Harwood or Scott Connelly at Smart Money People.

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