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Building societies remain top for customer service

Independent research carried out by YouGov between 11- 14 January 2019 shows that building society members receive better service compared to customers of banks and other providers. Nearly 9 in 10 (89%) of building society customers say their provider offers good customer service.

Building societies have consistently scored highly across the seven metrics of service measured, and have outperformed their competitors since the survey begun in July 2016.


Feeling closer to your provider

Building societies have a significant lead in important areas of customer service that suggest that people feel more connected to building societies than banks. 70% of building society customers said feedback they felt that feedback they gave would be listened to and acted upon, 18 percentage points greater than the 53% of bank customers. This shows building societies have more of a two-way relationship with their customers - listening to feedback and taking actions that their customers can see.

In addition, a greater proportion of building society customers are willing to recommend their provider to people they care about than bank customers, which also shows a greater connection between building societies and their customers. 83% of building society customers said they would recommend their provider to a friend or family, 12 percentage points greater than the 71% of bank customers.

Perhaps the main reason building societies are closer to their customers is because anyone with a savings account or mortgage is not only a customer, but a member who is a part-owner of their Society, along with all other customers.

Mortgage versus savings customers

The mortgage market is particularly competitive. With fewer people buying properties, firms are competing for a smaller pool of customers. Consequently, firms are keeping mortgage rates low to attract customers. Savings rates are also low, although they have also been creeping up in recent months. It is no surprise therefore that when people were asked if their bank or building society offered competitive rates mortgage customers were happier than savers.

However, more than nine in ten (92%) of mortgage customers at a building society said their provider offered competitive rates, compared to 83% of mortgage customers at banks. On the savings side building society customers still scored well, with nearly three quarters (73%) saying their provider offered competitive rates. However the banks fared less well here, with just over half (53%).

Putting all customers together, over three quarters (77%) of building society customers said their provider offered competitive rates compared to 61% of bank customers.


These results appear to mirror research from Savings Champion, which revealed that two-thirds of building society accounts (66%) pay a higher rate than the Base Rate, compared to less than half of accounts from banks (49%) 

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2022 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 11- 14 January 2019.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

The sample of ‘bank’ customers includes a small number of ‘other’ providers that are not banks.

Posted by Joseph Thompson on 30 January 2019