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Consumers favour banking with retailers

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British consumers would prefer to bank with high street retailers than traditional banks, according to figures released today.

Department store John Lewis is the most trusted brand as 75 per cent of 1,300 respondents would choose the retailer to take care of their personal finances while supermarkets continue to prove a popular banking choice.

According to comparison services company uSwitch, recent successes from Sainsbury’s and Tesco, which earlier this month announced that it was extending its offering to adding mortgages to its list of services, have led to an increase in trust of supermarkets among consumers.

Waitrose is the most trusted grocer with 46 per cent of consumers trusting the company over banking matters, while Asda and Morrisons followed with 36 per cent and 26 per cent respectively.

While only 37 per cent of respondents think that traditional banks offer good customer service, 69 per cent believe that supermarkets and retailers offer the same when it comes to banking, while banks also fall behind in terms of value for money.

Only nine per cent of respondents believe that banks offer good value compared with 52 per cent of supermarkets and retailers and 48 per cent of new players to the banking market.

As many as 80 per cent of consumers would consider switching to a new player as competition intensifies, with nearly have of consumers more likely to make the move than a year ago as a result of the damage done to the banking industries’ reputation following the LIBOR scandal.

“It’s a telling reflection of the UK banking industry that consumers are willing to put their trust in brands that have no previous banking experience,” Michael Ossei, Personal Finance expert at uSwitch commented.

“Consumer confidence in banks has been battered these last few years and recent scandals and IT fiascos have done little to win customers back.”

Pure play e-tailer Amazon proved a popular choice despite its lack of banking services as a quarter of those surveyed said they would be willing to bank there compared with nine per cent who favoured eBay.

Ossei concluded: “While traditional high street banks are still generally viewed as the most secure and experienced providers to bank with, new entrants are hot on their heels and winning customers over with their untarnished reputations and promise of superior rates and customer service.

“Hopefully this will act as a wake-up call to the high street banks and will make them pull their socks up. If they do, increased competition could be great news for consumers.”

Published on Wednesday 29 August by Editorial Assistant

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