Following a report that found banking customers regarded a personal service to be more important than rates of interest, an industry expert has said that bank branches will become a key battleground for providers.
Fifty three per cent of customers said being able to visit their branch was important to them when deciding where to put their money, according to a recent survey conducted by YouGov for Deloitte.
Figures also showed that two thirds of respondents cited a personal level of service as their main consideration, compared with three in ten who felt a good rate of interest was most important.
Speaking to Moneyfacts.co.uk, Neil Tomlinson, head of retail banking consulting at Deloitte, commented: "What is important to note is that the branches will be a key battleground for many of the products and services the banks provide, including current accounts, savings and mortgages.
"The winners will be those organisations that provide appropriate customer service and good value for money products, delivered at a place convenient and accessible to the customer."
The overwhelming majority of customers said they would only consider signing up for a product after a personal discussion with the bank.
"With certain products, face-to-face contact is a pre-requisite for buying the product from a bank. With mortgages, for example, two thirds of customers surveyed would only take out a mortgage after speaking to someone face-to-face," added Mr Tomlinson.
"The quality of service that customers experience is an integral part of the decision making process when choosing to apply to or stay with a banking provider."
Twenty one per cent of banking customers said they had changed their provider in the last two years because they felt dissatisfied with how they had been treated.
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