British banks criticized for poor customer service

London, April 15 (IANS) British banks have been criticized for poor customer service with a fifth of current account complaints not dealt with satisfactorily, said the consumer group Which?.

According to a survey report on investigation into banking problems, the first of such issued by the costumer body, 26 percent of bank customers in Britain, equivalent to 12 million people, have had problems with their current account in the last 12 months.

Lloyds TSB customers, along with Co-operative Bank and Bank of Scotland customers, had the highest proportion of customers who had experienced problems, reported Xinhua.

First Direct and Nationwide customers reported the fewest problems in the survey.

“Poor customer service was the most common problem overall, followed by banks trying to sell inappropriate products and difficulty getting through to someone,” it said Sunday.

Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which?, said, “The way that a bank deals with complaints says a lot about the culture of the organization. Some banks are getting this right but they all need to do more to put their customers first.”

Of those who had experienced problems, two-thirds of customers have made complaints about their current accounts.

“We found people were most likely to complain about problems with a clear financial impact, such as statement mistakes or difficulty in getting money back after fraud,” Which? said.

Lloyd said: “There’s a lot to complain about in banking over the last few years and to win back our trust they must sort out their complaints handling.

“When things go wrong it is critical that banks act swiftly and fairly to deal with the problem, identify what caused it and make sure it’s not repeated.”

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