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Banks fail to make leaps in complaints handling

by: IFAonline
  • 15/08/2011
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Banks fail to make leaps in complaints handling
Banks are only making minor improvements in their handling of complaints, according to a study by research firm

Around 40% of customers believe their complaints are not handled fairly by banks, which is only a slight improvement on six months ago (42%), despite well publicised efforts by banks to improve their service records.

The survey also reveals just 45% of customers believed their complaint was handled promptly, although this was up from 42% six months ago. Yorkshire Bank were rated the best for friendly and helpful in branch staff.

One in six customers (17%) had reason to complain to their bank in the past year. Nearly half of those who complained (48%) said their complaint was resolved within a week with First Direct coming out best with a 76% rating. However, over a quarter (28%) said their complaint took more than a month to get sorted.

The study shows 15% of customers have sent suggestions to their bank on how to improve service but only half (46%) say their bank acknowledged their suggestion.

However, of those who made a suggestion for improvement to their bank, one in three (36%) said their bank actually implemented their suggestion. Yorkshire Bank again scored well with its customers saying their suggestions were not only acknowledged but also implemented.

Ian Hughes, managing director of, said: “It’s encouraging to see that service issues are being addressed by banks and that customers are seeing slight improvements in how their complaints have been handled and a reduction in queues in branches. But banks mustn’t get complacent as there is still much improvement to be made.” launched its Banking Experiences & Preferences study earlier this year to measure how well the UK’s leading banks measured up to key promises outlined in RBS/NatWest’s Customer Charter.

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