Bank switching in the UK increases: Accenture

The success UK banks have had in launching their digital channels may have come at the price of customer loyalty, according to research by consultants Accenture.

The success UK banks have had in launching their digital channels may have come at the price of customer loyalty, according to research by consultants Accenture.

Accenture surveyed almost 4,000 current account customers in the UK and Ireland for the report. Findings included:

-The percentage of customers that switched to another bank for new products increased from 11% in 2010 to 15% in 2012;

-The number of customers purchasing products fell from 19% in 2010 to 17% in 2012;

-Daily and weekly online banking activity fell from 69% in 2010 to 61% in 2012, while mobile banking activity more than doubled from 10% in 2010 to 22% in 2012, and

-Daily and weekly branch activity fell from 19% in 2010 to 15% in 2012.

Peter Kirk, managing director of Accenture Distribution and Marketing Services in the UK and Ireland, said: "This year’s survey results underscored the banking industry’s central challenge to re-engage customers, as the human element of the relationship diminishes.

"Banks’ success in rolling out efficient, user-friendly digital channels and their continuing consumer trust issues may be contributing to an increasingly arm’s-length relationship between institutions and their customers, which impacts their opportunities to sell and build loyalty."

The survey showed the overall trust in banks fell from 45% in 2011 to 40% in 2012.

The largest decline in trust was among 18-to-24-year-olds, where trust levels fell from 48% in 2011 to 37% in 2012.

Kirk said banks needed to do more to engage with their customers to strengthen their relationships.

He added: "Banks should focus on the customer experience, so that across channels, customers receive a fast, efficient service.

"With increased competition, banks must reward loyalty and personalise how they engage with customers digitally, using big data and analytics to tailor a multi-channel experience."

 

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