Building societies on top for service, value and trust

The research also shows that building societies are perceived by their customers as outperforming banks on treating their customers fairly; providing better value for money and being more trusted to give good advice.

This part of the research was conducted in October 2008, at the height of the instability in the financial markets.

Adrian Coles, Director-General of the Building Societies Association, said: "For the second year running, this research shows building societies beat the banks in every aspect of customer service. Societies pride themselves in offering the best levels of service possible to their customers.

"As mutuals, they don’t have any shareholders to please – they are accountable to the members. 

"With household incomes being squeezed, consumers are looking for good value – this is an area where societies really excel over their plc counterparts. Recent falls in interest rates will make it even more important that consumers seek out the best deals on savings and mortgages.”

Other results of the survey showed:

67% of building society customers consider that their provider offers value for money, compared to 48% of bank customers. 

32% of bank customers did not agree that their bank offered reasonable value for money, while only 10% of building society customers felt the same way;

68% of building society customers agreed that societies treat their customers fairly, compared to 55% of bank customers.
29% of bank customers disagree that their bank treats them fairly. This compares to just 7% of building society customers; 

58% of building society customers agreed that they would trust their provider to give good advice. This compares to 50% of bank customers who felt the same way;

32% of bank customers would not trust their provider to give advice. 14% of building society customers felt this way;

69% of building society customers with a savings product felt their money was safe, compared to 64% of bank customers.
13% of building society customers who were surveyed did not feel that their money was safe, compared to 24% of bank customers.

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