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Metro tops banking survey despite issues

Metro tops banking survey despite issues

Metro Bank, alongside First Direct and Barclays, has dominated a personal banking quality survey, despite the challenges it faced in recent months. 

A survey of 13,760 people by Ipsos Mori has shed light on current customer satisfaction in the personal banking sector at the request of the Competition and Markets Authority. 

Published today (August 15) it saw Metro Bank come out on top in the category of overall service quality, joint with First Direct, with 82 per cent of its customers happy to recommend the bank as a current account provider to friends or family. 

Metro also came first in the category for best service in branch and featured second for its overdraft services and third for its online and mobile banking services. 

The positive feedback comes after a period of turmoil at the bank, with former chairman Vernon Hill stepping down last month as customers pulled £2bn worth of deposits from the lender over the first six months of the year.

The bank had an embattled start to 2019 after the Bank of England found an accounting error in its books.

The bank had miscalculated its loan book risk level and over-reported its capital ratios as a result, causing its share price to plummet and its profits to halve in the first quarter.

Metro then raised £350m of equity, confirming in May its plans to raise funds were “well advanced” to “support its growth”.

In its results for the first half of this year the challenger bank reported a decrease in profit before tax of 84 per cent compared with the same six months last year — £3.4m compared with £20.8m in 2018.

The sentiment of Metro current account customers has not been shared by mortgage brokers so far this year, with the bank named as one of the worst performing lenders on service in the Mortgage Lender Benchmark Assessment in June. 

Craig Donaldson, chief executive of Metro Bank, said: "We are extremely proud to still hold the top spot for personal current account service and maintain our top two position among our business customers.  

"Service and convenience are at the heart of everything we do at Metro Bank and we’re thrilled that our customers can see this. Thank you to all our customers and colleagues for being part of the banking revolution."  

First Direct also performed well in Ipsos Mori's survey, coming joint first for overall service, first for overdraft services and second for online and mobile banking. 

The bank was joined in the top ranks by Barclays and Nationwide which each featured at least twice in the top three ranks of the categories.

Barclays was crowned the best bank for mobile and online banking, with 86 per cent of customers likely to recommend the provider's service. 

The Royal Bank of Scotland struggled in the survey and came last in two of the four categories, with only 46 per cent of its customers likely to recommend the bank based on overall service quality and 53 per cent on its services in branch.