Consumers Give Building Societies a Positive Thumbs Up

19 December 2013

Thumbs up

An independent survey conducted by YouGov* has produced some encouraging results for the mutual sector. The survey provides a snapshot of the views of UK consumers about service provision within banks and mutuals (which includes building societies).

The research focuses on three key areas:

  • Trust: that their provider acts in their best interests
  • Value for money
  • Recommendation: would the consumer recommend their provider to a friend
62 per cent of consumers say that they trust their mutual provider to act in their best interest in comparison to 42 per cent of consumers who say the same of their bank.

When asked about value for money, 66 per cent of consumers believe that their mutual provider gives them value for money, while only 45 per cent say the same of their bank.

A noteworthy 70 per cent of those who participated said they would recommend their mutual financial services provider to a friend, in contrast to 60 per cent of consumers who would recommend their bank.

Referring to the results, Adrian Coles, former Director-General of the Building Societies Association said: “It is encouraging to see from this research that the mutual difference, far from being an ownership technicality, is being positively experienced by consumers on a daily basis.”

Combining innovation with customer focus is the key to how mutuals such as Monmouthshire Building Society have retained such strong levels of customer satisfaction in the face of the ongoing challenges presented by the economic downturn. Customers not only benefit from greater choice, but mutuals also play a vital role in providing competition which contributes to the resilience of the financial sector as a whole.

Andrew Lewis, Chief Executive of Monmouthshire Building Society commented, “The Society is extremely pleased by the findings of the survey. Building societies and other mutuals have a crucial role to play in the future of the UK financial services industry and, as banks continue to disappoint, more and more customers seek greater transparency and honesty in their financial dealings. This shift in consumer opinion is a golden opportunity for mutuals to re-assert their presence in the marketplace and extol the virtues of the mutual model.”

He continued, “Like my colleagues, I am passionate in my belief that a strong mutual sector is of absolute necessity for promoting a healthy and competitive market. However, this must be coupled with appropriate regulation to ensure that mutuals continue to play their part in improving the quality of service offered to customers across the UK financial services industry.”

*Survey commissioned by the Building Societies Association and conducted by YouGov PLC between 16th and 22nd August 2013.
To view more information on the survey, click here.

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