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first direct challenges the 44% who've never switched their current account to take the plunge

14 May 2013

Recent research* by first direct , winner of the 2013 uSwitch Best Account Opening Service and Overall Best Current Account Provider Awards, has found that 44% of UK adults have never switched their current account and a further 27% have only moved their banking once.  The survey also revealed that only 4% said they will definitely change their current account provider in the next two years. 

When asked why they chose their first current account provider a quarter of those surveyed said they plumped for their local high street branch and 21% opted for the bank their parents used, pushing the bank's reputation in to third place (13%). 

How did you choose your first current account provider? 

There was a branch on my local high street

25%

It was the bank my parents used

21%

The bank had a good reputation

13%

It was the bank a friend/partner used

7%

It offered the best new current account incentives

6%

My employer recommended it

4%

It offered the best student current account benefits

3%

When asked what would prompt them to switch, two thirds said the introduction of charges by their current provider and over half (54%) said poor customer service.  However only 15% said they were extremely satisfied with their current account provider, this coupled with the low number of people planning to switch in the next two years suggests that expectations are low when it comes to the level of service banks provide. 

Which of the following would make you more likely to switch current account provider?

Charges being introduced by my current provider

60%

Poor customer service from my existing provider

54%

To receive a better interest rate

34%

The local branch of my bank closing

31%

To have an account with better account features / additional services

24%

To have access to other products only available to current account customers of another bank

17%

None of the above

16%

Being offered free advice on how to switch current account provider

11%

Andy Forbes, Head of Product at first direct commented: 

"At first direct we pride ourselves on offering customers unparalleled service, backed up by our many independent customer service awards. 

"Anyone disappointed with their current provider should shop around and if they were to choose first direct they would quickly see what they'd been missing." 

first direct currently offers a service guarantee awarding new customers who've never banked with it £100 to switch their personal banking, including standing orders and direct debits, to the online and telephone bank.  The direct bank is so proud of its service credentials that, if the new customer should find they're unhappy with any aspect of the 1st Account after 6 months, they'll be given a further £100 to leave**.

 

-Ends-

 

For further information please contact Rebecca Hirst on 0113 276 6899, rebecca.hirst@firstdirect.com or Amanda Brown on 0113 276 6700, amanda.brown@firstdirect.com  

Notes to Editors

The related infographic can be found here.

* Research carried out on behalf of first direct by Opinion Matters in February 2013.  2,034 people aged 16+ were surveyed. Full research available on request.

** first direct will pay £100 per customer or joint relationship if the 1st Account is closed within 12 months of opening it, as long as a monthly salary or income of £1000 or more has been paid into that account for at least six months and the customer hasn't previously had an account with first direct . Also customers must have used the Easyswitch service to transfer their direct debits and standing orders from their previous bank when opening their 1st Account. The payment of £100 will go into the 1st Account prior to closure. All accounts with first direct have to be closed and the 1st Account transferred to another bank or building society.

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first direct facts

  • Winner of the Which? Best Financial Provider and Moneywise Most Trusted Financial Provider awards 3 years running
  • uSwitch Winner of Overall Best Current Account Provider, Overall Satisfaction, Best Telephone Service and Best Account Switching Service
  • Top financial institution in the Which? Customer Satisfaction Survey with an all-time high of 93%
  • Ranked first in the Retail Banking Satisfaction Study by J D Power & Associates for two years running
  • Received 90% customer satisfaction in a survey carried out by  MoneySavingExpert.com

first direct provides both telephone banking and online banking services to its 1.2m customers.  It offers a full range of personal banking products including its award winning Current Account and offset mortgages.

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first direct has achieved the highest ever score for a bank in a Which? customer satisfaction survey with 93%, beating the nearest rival by 5% and the lowest score by over 100%.


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