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Banks must try harder

Banks must try harder according to 16.5 million (33%) banking customers with only negative or indifferent feelings towards their bank.

13-03-2013 | It’s still a case of banks must try harder for the UK’s big five, according to 16.5 million or 33% of Britain’s banking customers who claim only negative or indifferent feelings towards their bank.

New research reveals a high level of dissatisfaction with banks at present, with a quarter (24%) of banking customers who are indifferent towards their bank and as many as one in eight (13%) who feel only negatively about it, showing how far the sector has to go to re-engage the public. Banking customers feel dissatisfied (8%), unhappy (6%), angry (3%) or ashamed (2%) and when asked to describe their bank, 16% of banking customers used the word ‘greedy’, and a further 6% used ‘unethical’.

Of those customers who feel negatively about their bank, one in five (18%) dislike the scandals in which their bank has been implicated. While the biggest black mark against banks for these customers is a lack of trust, with two in five (42%) believing their bank no longer has its customers’ best interests at heart. A third (35%) of dissatisfied customers disagree with their bank’s policy of paying big bonuses and a quarter (25%) are no longer satisfied with their bank’s charges.

According to the figures from ethically-driven Triodos Bank, just 7% of banking customers think their bank is transparent. Triodos believes greater transparency is a key factor in restoring people’s faith in their banks.

Huw Davies, head of personal banking at Triodos, commented: ‘Banks have played on their customers’ indifference for too long. If you’re someone who wants to feel more than indifferent, unhappy or confused, there are banks that are transparent about how you interact with them, that you can feel inspired by and engage positively with.

‘At Triodos Bank we are 100% transparent. Firstly, we show all our customers every loan we make and exactly how we use their money, so there is no confusion about what the money they deposit with us is being used for. We offer competitive and fair financial returns for savers and we only lend your money to businesses that are delivering a positive social, environmental or cultural impact. Moreover, we have a very clear bonus and remuneration structure – we don’t pay contractual bonuses, and the ratio between the highest and lowest paid co-worker’s salaries is just 9.5 times.

Triodos Bank is challenging British savers to vote with their feet and move their money somewhere it feels good to save with. It claims moving any savings to a more transparent and socially useful kind of bank can be a small but powerful act along with actions many are already taking, such as buying more fair-trade, organic or local food, decreasing car usage or increasing ones charity or community contributions.

Davies concluded: ‘There has never been a better time for people to act on their indifference or dissatisfaction and start feeling good about saving with a bank with a more ethical approach. Together, small acts can bring big changes.

At Triodos Bank all customers can see exactly how their money is being used via the website, www.knowwhereyourmoneygoes.co.uk . Savers can see the projects their deposits are funding, such as the solar PV installation at Glastonbury’s Worthy Farm, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage, green power company Ecotricity and more than 1,500 other sustainable enterprises. Triodos Bank is the UK’s only commercial bank to publish this information for all its customers.

ENDS

Notes to editors

* 2015 people (aged 18+) were interviewed online on behalf of Triodos Bank by Opinium Research between 29 and 31 January 2013. Weighted to a nationally representative criteria. Of those, 1,995 have a current or savings account.

16. 5m / 33% have negative or indifferent feelings toward bank

659 banking customers indifferent or negative / 2015 UK adults = 32.7%

32.7% x Total UK adult population (18+) (50,371,000) = 16,473,689 UK adults

For more information, comment or a case study, please contact:

Lisa Stanley, lisa.stanley@triodos.co.uk 0117 980 9721 / 07983 002013

Will Ferguson, William.ferguson@triodos.co.uk 0117 980 9770 / 07899 965640

Faye Holst, faye.holst@triodos.co.uk 0117 980 9584 / 0755 778 5167

About Triodos Bank

www.triodos.co.uk

Triodos Bank only finances enterprises which create social, environmental or cultural added value. Key sectors include organic food and farming, renewable energy, social housing, and fair trade. Transparency is a core value and Triodos publishes details of every business it lends to. A range of personal savings accounts is offered, and full banking services are available for businesses and charities. Triodos Bank is an independent bank founded in the Netherlands in 1980. Its principles and independence are protected through a special shareholding trust. The UK office opened in 1995 and is based in Bristol.

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