Building societies come out on top for customer service and trust

BSA commissioned online research from YouGov shows continued success for building societies on customer service and trust indicators.

Building societies emerge as customer service champions

Every six months the BSA commissions YouGov to ask around 2,000 people online about their customer service experience at their Bank or Building society. In January 2022, more than 9 in ten building society customers (91%) said their provider provides good customer service, up slightly from 88% in July 2021. This compares to 81% of bank customers who said the same of their provider. This gives building societies a 9 percentage point lead over the banking sector on the main indicator of customer service.

The building society sector also outperformed the banking sector on the other six measures of customer service, including whether customers would recommend their provider to friends or family. This is often hailed as the key indicator of customer loyalty because the customer puts their reputation on the line in making the recommendation. Customers are usually only likely to do this when they feel strong loyalty towards their provider. 85% of building society customers said they would recommend their provider compared to 69% of bank customers, giving building societies a 17 percentage point lead.

You can trust your building society in a changing economic landscape

UK households have faced significant challenges over the last two years during the coronavirus pandemic and are set to face a new round of challenges. Prices are rising,  in particular energy bills, and interest rates appear to be on an upward trajectory. During these challenging times it is important that you feel your financial service provider acts in your best interests. The results from the survey show that a high proportion of both mortgage (73%) and savings (79%) customers at building societies believe their provider acts in their best interests. This is significantly higher than the 65% of mortgage customers and 69% of saving customers at banks.


Results are calculated by the BSA and excludes those who said ‘don’t know.’ Based on 401 building society customers and 994 customers of other financial service providers.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2,066 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 20th – 21st January 2022.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+) and results are analysed independently by the BSA.