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Mutuals take customer service crown

Mutuals take customer service crown

Category: Banking

Updated: 20/07/2010
First Published: 30/04/2010

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.
Mutual societies have outperformed the UK's banks in a number of areas of customer service, new research has revealed.

The revelation comes at the end of a difficult week for some of the banks, as five unnamed institutions were criticised for poor customer service practices by the Financial Services Authority.

Two of the five face further investigation from the watchdog and the prospect of a fine.

And now new research conducted by GfK NOP for the Building Societies Association (BSA) has found that savers and borrowers with mutuals are more satisfied than customers of other financial institutions.

Seven in ten mutual mortgage customers said they were extremely or very satisfied, compared with 63% of customers with other providers.

Customers saving with a mutual provider were also found to be more satisfied with the level of service afforded to them, while more than six in ten (63%) felt they were treated fairly, compared with 47% of bank customers.

Mutual customers are also more likely to trust their provider to give good advice, support them in financial difficulties and offer value for money, figures showed.

"Mutual organisations have continued to deliver better levels of service to their customers than their plc rivals, a fact that has been corroborated again by independent research," said Adrian Coles, director general of the BSA.

"The last few years have been some of the most turbulent for financial firms, so it's great to see mutual organisations flying the customer service flag with such consistency.

"Providing a high level of customer service is inherent to the mutual model - the institution's core purpose is to serve its owners, who are also its customers."

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