2020 bank service results mixed performance | moneyfacts.co.uk

Moneyfacts.co.uk will never contact you by phone to sell you any financial product. Any calls like this are not from Moneyfacts. Emails sent by Moneyfacts.co.uk will always be from news@moneyfacts-news.co.uk. Be Scamsmart.

ARCHIVED ARTICLE This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

nigel woollsey

Nigel Woollsey

Online Writer
Published: 27/08/2020

The results of the latest quarterly bank service standards from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) show that many banks and building societies that offer personal banking have made little progress on service standards compared to the results from summer last year.

This quarterly report illustrates how banks perform against a set of everyday banking tasks, such as how long it takes them to open a new account, provide a debit card or allow access to online banking, among others. The period covered in this new report runs from 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2020 – covering a large part of the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown here in the UK.

Bearing this in mind, it is perhaps to be expected that customer services at some banks have been negatively impacted during this period. However, those banks that have improved have done so in the face of unprecedented disruption.

In addition, while this is a useful tool for general comparison, not all banks contribute, so this is not an “all of market” report.

Same-day account opening

According to the latest FCA figures, only two providers are able to open an account on the same day 100% of the time – these being Nationwide Building Society and Starling Bank. Six banks are able to do this most of the time, which is still a slight fall from the seven providers who could largely open a bank account in a single day last year.

On average, FCA data shows that account opening takes just under two and a half days – an improvement of half a day from summer 2019. However, the longest time taken to open an account has risen from 10 days to nearly 14 days; a figure that is perhaps understandable given the recent disruption in the UK.

Receiving a debit card

When it comes to customers being able to obtain a debit card on the same day as opening an account, there are sadly no providers able to do this, according to the recent data. Only Metro Bank distinguished themselves, being able to do this 38% of the time.

21 banks and building societies submitted returns that showed they were never able to provide a bank card on the same day as an account was opened, with customers waiting an average time of nine days – an improvement on the summer 2019 average of 11 days.

Replacing lost cards quickly

The time it takes to replace a lost debit card remains at an average of around four days – no change from this time last year. Sadly, only a single bank is able to replace a missing card the same day: Metro Bank, which accomplishes this an impressive 91% of the time for its customers – although even this is a fall of 6% from the 97% figure it achieved in 2019. Other banking providers vary greatly in this respect, with some taking around five days and two other banks taking in excess of 50 days on average to replace a lost or stolen card.

Accessing internet banking

When it comes to access internet banking, new customers are having to wait even longer, with the latest figures indicating an average delay of 11 days before they can bank online. This is almost double the six days it took a year ago. While the longest time to wait jumped from 12 days to an astounding 62 days, it must be suspected that the recent disruption to banking has severely affected response times.

Same-day overdrafts

The figures for getting an overdraft on the same day as applying for one has seen a similar slip, with just 10 banks able to do this compared to the 15 that had been able to accomplish this in the summer 2019 results. However, there is some good news in that the average time it takes to get an overdraft from the other UK banks has dropped from 10 days to just over six days.

Not satisfied with your bank or building society? How to switch providers

Fortunately, customers who are unhappy with the service they are receiving from their bank or building society can vote with their feet by moving to a new provider. Doing so is easier than ever using the Current Account Switch Service – this operates between participating banks and building societies and makes changing banks or building societies a lot easier. To find out more, take a look at our helpful current account switching guide, which tells you which banks or building societies operate this service. You can also find out more about the process with our How to switch current account guide.

Alternatively, you can look for your next new account using our bank account comparison tables. These include high interest current accounts, online or even free accounts. If an overdraft is a safety net you can’t do without, then check out our accounts with overdrafts, while you can find a place to grow your money with our savings account comparison tables.


Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time. Links to third parties on this page are paid for by the third party. You can find out more about the individual products by visiting their site. Moneyfacts.co.uk will receive a small payment if you use their services after you click through to their site. All information is subject to change without notice. Please check all terms before making any decisions. This information is intended solely to provide guidance and is not financial advice. Moneyfacts will not be liable for any loss arising from your use or reliance on this information. If you are in any doubt, Moneyfacts recommends you obtain independent financial advice.

smiling retired couple looking at documents


Moneyfacts.co.uk will, like most other websites, place cookies onto your device. This includes tracking cookies.

I accept. Read our Cookie Policy