Lloyds of complaints see a drop in banking Buzz

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Mon, 25/10/2010 - 15:30

At the end of September, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) released figures detailing which banks had received the most complaints from UK customers between January and June 2010.

The negative publicity means that Lloyds TSB, Barclays and Santander will all be disappointed with the FSA’s decision to release these figures into the public domain for the first time. Lloyds TSB received the highest number of complaints (288,717) followed by Barclays (259,266) and Santander (244,978). In response to the figures, a spokesperson for the British Bankers’ Association said that some complaints were inevitable.

With around 30 million customers, Lloyds TSB actually received fewer complaints in relative terms than Barclays and Santander, a point made by a spokesperson for the bank.

“The vast majority are happy with the service we provide and this is reflected in the low number of complaints we receive relative to the high number of accounts our customers hold.”

BrandIndex data shows that this finer point has been lost among the headlines, and respondents have focused on the fact that Lloyds TSB have received the largest overall number of complaints.

Details of the FSA’s findings were featured in a story on the BBC News website on 30th September. The day before the story was published, Lloyds TSB's ‘Buzz’ score stood at -5pts, Barclays at -1pt and Santander at -11pts.

The scores for all three banks reached a low on 4th October with ‘Buzz’ scores for Lloyds TSB, Barclays and Santander falling by 12pts, 10pts and 11pts respectively, meaning scores for Lloyds TSB dropped the most in the intervening days.

Although Santander received fewer complaints than Barclays, its ‘Buzz’ rating fell further. This was due to the fact that the watchdog published the amount of complaints that were closed within 8 weeks of them being made. Lloyd’s TSB resolved 97% and Barclays 91%, with Santander finishing a distant third, resolving only 47% of complaints within the 8 week time frame.

On a positive note, as the graph below shows, the 'Buzz' for all three of the banks has recovered significantly since the 4th. In addition to this, the overall ‘Index’ score has improved significantly for Lloyds TSB, Barclays and Santander, rising by 3pts, 5pts and 4pts respectively between the 4th and 15th October, suggesting that long-term brand damage is unlikely.

Lloyds TSB, Barclays and Santander ‘Index’ score
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Lloyds TSB, Barclays and Santander ‘Buzz’ score
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People Illustration