High street banks still win-out with consumers when it comes to trust

13th July 2015


Despite enduring a flurry of negative press over recent years the UK’s high street banks, as opposed to the new kids on the block, still win out in the trust stakes according to a survey from MoneySuperMarket.

With technology companies beginning to enter the payments world with developments such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet, consumers were asked if they would trust a variety of traditional banks, supermarket banks and non-banking companies with their money.

However, despite these companies making headway, the big names of Barclays, NatWest and Santander all came out on top. More than a quarter, at 28%, scored these providers the highest, with a trust score of at least an eight out of 10. Amongst supermarket and online financial services companies, Marks and Spencer is viewed as the most trustworthy company, scoring at least seven out of 10 with a fifth, at 22% of all consumers, while Virgin Money followed closely behind with 21%.

At the other end of the scale, non-banking companies are the least favoured when it comes to consumer trust. Facebook scored a maximum of two out of 10 in terms of trust from an overwhelming 61% of people, while 40% gave Google the same score.

While trust in high street banks appears higher than other companies, they still have some way to go to gain the nation’s full confidence. Over half, at 53%, think high street banks currently have a bad reputation – almost double the number who felt the same about supermarket banks, at 27%.

In addition, 19% would trust John Lewis over a high street bank, with 46% of these people deeming the company to be more trustworthy, and 40% feeling they provide better levels of service. Meanwhile only 7% would trust Facebook over a high street bank.

Kevin Mountford, head of banking at MoneySuperMarket said: “The traditional players still have the monopoly on the banking scene when it comes to consumer trust, with many people perhaps naturally cautious about the expertise and capability of new entrants. However, over the last year we’ve seen companies such as Google and Apple starting to show their hand in terms of entering into the banking space with payment services, and I expect others will soon follow suit.

“If this happens, then the high street banks will need to step up when it comes to building up their reputations. Scandals such as mis-selling investigations and IT crashes evidently remain in the public’s mind, as both RBS and The Co-operative Bank came out as less trustworthy in comparison to the other banking giants. With plenty of new brands emerging onto the banking scene, the tide could easily turn, and so the traditional banks must do all they can to win favour, or risk losing customers.”

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