Meanwhile, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and TSB were ranked bottom for their respective personal and SME banking offerings.
The research conducted by Ipsos Mori and BVA BDRC is conducted every six months after work by regulator the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to improve competition in the banking sector.
For the personal banking research, Ipsos Mori surveyed around 860 customers each of the 16 largest personal current account providers, a total of 13,760.
On overall service quality, 82 per cent of First Direct and Metro Bank customers said they would recommend the banks to their friends and family. This was followed by Nationwide in third at 74 per cent.
In contrast, RBS was endorsed by just 44 per cent of customers with the remaining banks receiving between 55 per cent and 66 per cent support.
Handelsbanken dominates business sector
Meanwhile, Handelsbanken was recommended by 85 per cent of its business customers, with Metro Bank in second at 69 per cent and Santander third with 66 per cent.
TSB, with just 38 per cent recommending it, was the least popular for overall business services, followed by RBS at 43 per cent.
Barclays was rated top for both its personal and business online and mobile banking services.
First Direct was highest rated for personal overdrafts with Metro best for in branch services.
Handelsbanken was top for both those categories in the business sections.
In Northern Ireland, HSBC and Nationwide were the top two for overall personal banking service, with Santander the best for business.