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Mar 29

First Direct Named Best Bank in Inaugural Expert Reviews Money Awards

Reading Time: 4 mins

– 87% of customers would recommend First Direct to friends and family

– Most British people have been with the same bank for over five years and 21% are still with their childhood bank

First Direct has won every category in the inaugural Expert Reviews Money Awards, including Best Customer Service and the overall title of Best Bank.

With the cost of living soaring, money is never far from many people’s minds. But it’s not often that many of us stop to think about the banks that look after our hard-earned cash, and the level of service they give.

Expert Reviews is the go-to site for buying advice on everything from broadband contracts to mattresses, helping consumers buy with confidence. In partnership with YouGov, Expert Reviews asked 2,045 adults across Great Britain about their banks. The results were then weighted to make them nationally representative.

On the basis of their customers’ votes, prizes have been awarded in three categories – Best Bank, Best Online Banking and Best Current Account Provider – while the number of complaints made to the Financial Ombudsman Service was also taken into account.

An impressive 87% of First Direct’s customers said they would recommend the bank to others. This may be due to the excellent customer service that respondents received, with almost all of them (97%) rating it as either very or quite good, and the majority (77%) saying it was very good.

First Direct also scored highly for its online banking, perhaps as it should do given that it’s an online-only bank, with 94% of customers rating their online banking service as “quite good” or “very good”. It was also rated Best Current Account Provider by its customers, who also gave it an 80% approval rating for its telephone banking service.

Nationwide also did well in the awards, winning Highly Commended in all three categories. Unlike First Direct, Nationwide has branches on the high street and scored particularly well for in-branch services, with 79% of customers saying it was very or quite good.

Outside of the awards, the survey also revealed how few people appear to be switching banks despite the potential rewards on offer, with the vast majority (78%) having been with their main bank for more than five years. In fact, 21% of respondents said the main reason they’re with their bank is because they’ve been with it since they were a child, rather than factors such as offering a good service, decent account features or conveniently located branches.

Monica Horridge, editor of Expert Reviews, commented: “We all want to make sure we’re making the best decisions with our hard-earned cash, and there are few more important decisions than the bank you trust to look after it. We’ve launched these awards to help our readers make the best choices and to celebrate excellence in customer service.

“After all, a truly great bank is about more than just interest rates: it’s about well-thought-out features that make a difference to your everyday life, easily accessible information to help keep you on top of your spending and, most importantly of all, great customer service when you really need it.

“First Direct’s dedication to its customers is clear from the whopping 97% who rated customer service as very or quite good. In another recent Expert Reviews banking survey, First Direct customers were overwhelmingly positive about the bank, praising its friendly and professional telephone banking staff who make customers feel listened to. ‘[They] combine professionalism with humanity,’ said one customer. ‘Queries are always answered fully and lucidly, by human beings who take the time to listen and never read from a script.’ Another claimed that, now that they mostly use the First Direct app, ‘I find that I miss the extremely friendly phone calls. I almost look forward to the rare occasions that I have to phone them.’ This means that overall ‘it’s a joy to be with them’. How many of us can say that about our current bank?”

To read more about the awards, go to: www.expertreviews.co.uk/money-awards-2022



About Expert Reviews 

Expert Reviews helps consumers buy with confidence. They bring together experts in every field to provide their readers with in-depth, authoritative buying advice on everything from lawn mowers and TVs to broadband and phone contracts.

Find out more at www.expertreviews.co.uk



All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov PLC. Total sample size was 2,045 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 28 and 31 January 2022. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

They asked respondents how likely they would be to recommend their main banking provider to others and to rate its overall customer service as well as aspects of its service, including its online banking, banking app, in-branch services and telephone banking.

Only banks where the number of respondents was more than 50 people were included in the results. This means they haven’t been able to report on Bank of Scotland, Metro Bank, Monzo, Revolut, Starling Bank, Tesco Bank, Virgin Money or Yorkshire Building Society.

They also analysed current account offerings to find the best providers as well as factoring in Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) complaints data. To be in the running for an award, banks must have had lower than the industry average percentage of banking and credit complaints upheld in favour of the consumer, according to the FOS’s most recent September 2021 data.


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