Banks that provide current accounts have been urged to ensure customers get the standard of service they demand and expect.

According to research by, First Direct is once again the best performing company in the sector when it comes to offering top quality customer service.

Indeed, the survey found that 92 per cent of people who have accounts with the institution believe it offers “great” service, which means it retains its position at the top of the list for another year.

This put it well ahead of the likes of Santander, TSB, Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC.

Guy Anker, managing editor at, observed: “With current accounts, customer service really counts.

“Whether you bank online or in-brand, this is the one financial product you do genuinely have a real day-to-day interaction with.”

Mr Anker noted that some organisations are managing to provide good customer service alongside innovative accounts.

Santander, for instance, was praised for managing to move from the foot of the table two years ago to a higher position this time around.

However, he said many of the traditional giant high street banks performed poorly in the survey, with more than half of account holders with the country’s four biggest institutions saying the service they get is either okay or poor.

“That should be seen as a stark warning that the big banks risk losing customers if they don’t raise their game,” Mr Anker commented.

Investing in customer service and engagement could be critically important for the major institutions because the process of switching accounts is much simpler than it used to be.

In fact, Mr Anker said the process is now “easier than ever”, with all direct debits and standing orders able to be moved within seven working days.

As a result, being complacent about the issue of customer service at a time when the banking sector is becoming increasingly competitive could be counterproductive for institutions that want to be seen in a more positive light.

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