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Britain's Least Trusted Banks

Personal_Finance / UK Banking Apr 15, 2007 - 12:13 PM GMT

By: Fool.co.uk

Personal_Finance Sonia Rehill writes:
•Barclays is the least trusted bank in Britain.
•Two-thirds of “Big 5” customers do not trust their banks to sell them the right products.
•One in eight customers claim that they have been victims of mis-selling.
•One in six people have had money go missing from their accounts.

Barclays is the least trusted of the “Big 5” high street banks according to new research (1) by independent personal finance website fool.co.uk


A survey of almost 4,000 fool.co.uk readers reveals that two-thirds of the “Big 5” customers do not trust their banks to sell them the right products. One in eight customers of Britain's five biggest banks also claim that they have actually been mis-sold something. Additionally, one in six people state that money has gone missing from their accounts at some time.

Barclays fared worst with almost three-quarters of its customers voicing concerns about its intentions when selling them products. HSBC is the most trusted, though it was only slightly better than Lloyds TSB, Royal Bank of Scotland and HBOS.

In some cases, customer scepticism has been justified, with one in six Lloyds TSB customers claiming to have been sold an unsuitable product. HSBC fared best - just one in 11 of its customers claim to be victims of mis-selling. The survey also found that one in three people think they may have been sold an unsuitable product, but they can't be absolutely sure.

Apart from mis-selling products, it seems that banks are also careless when looking after customers' money. Barclays picks up the wooden spoon again with more than one in five customers stating that money has gone astray from their accounts.

Customers of HBOS have also found that money has disappeared from their accounts. Around one in six people here say money has vanished. Of the “Big 5” banks, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds TSB appear to be more careful - only one in seven customers have found that money has disappeared.

David Kuo, Head of Personal Finance at fool.co.uk , says: “The research suggests that consumer confidence in the “Big 5” banks has plumbed to levels that are clearly unacceptable. Barclays has been singled out by Fool.co.uk readers as one of the least trusted, but the other four banks have nothing to be proud of.

“It is especially disturbing because financial products are now more complex. Consequently, customers must be able to trust their banks to point them in the right direction, and not have to worry about being led up the garden path.

“We therefore urge customers to question their banks more. Your bank is there to serve you, and it must be held accountable! Remember also that products promoted by your bank are probably the best for them but may not be suitable for you, so it's important to search the market.

“There was a time when banks lent an umbrella when the sun was shining, and wanted it back when it started to rain. It seems from our research that banks today want you to keep the umbrella because it might not work anyway.”


By Sonia Rehill
PR Manager
DD: 020 7297 8159
soniar@fool.co.uk

Notes:
(1)A survey of 3,754 Fool.co.uk readers conducted between 28 March and 11 April 2007. Table of key findings summarised below:

BANK HSBC BARCLAYS LLOYDS TSB RBS/NATWEST HBOS
No. of customer responses 840 (23%) 730 (20%) 829 (22%) 814 (22%)
541 (13%)
Customers who trust their banks to sell the right products 327 (39%) 201 (28%) 258 (31%) 280 (34%) 190 (35%)
Customers who have been mis-sold products 75 (9%) 106 (15%) 143 (17%) 93 (11%) 57 (11%)
Customers who have had money go missing from their accounts 110 (13%) 169 (23%) 116 (14%) 114 (14%) 86 (16%)


About The Motley Fool – fool.co.uk

Launched in 1997, The Motley Fool is an independent, award winning personal finance website at www.fool.co.uk
It is one of the UK's most popular financial websites dedicated to providing expert financial advice, community-generated guidance and independent financial comparison, with 2.5 million members and over 500,000 site visitors a month.

NOTE - The opinions of contributors such as the above, do not necessarily reflect those of The Market Oracle or its editorial team.


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