Internet banks have fared particularly badly in a new study that suggests the industry has lost trust from the majority of UK consumers.

The Unisys-commissioned survey found that 71% of customers do not trust their banks, while the two worst rated brands were web-based.

At a time when the industry is under fire over charges and profits, 82% of respondents attributed ‘respect for customers’ as an important issue in gaining their trust.

Disrespectful attitudes, poor privacy, weak IT and poor corporate governance were among the main problems they highlighted.

According to Unisys, the results also suggest face-to-face interaction is important to consumers, as the lowest six rated banks had no High Street presence.

Elton Birden, the company's VP of UK Financial Services said: 

“Banks must look beyond firewalls and data breaches and understand that consumers consider everything when deciding where to place their trust.

"The poor performance by the online banks also suggests that face-to-face contact and the ‘human touch’ count for a lot with the British public."

Related stories:

Why do banks suck so badly at online customer service?


Published 22 June, 2007 by Richard Maven

529 more posts from this author

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Comments (2)


Alex Har

One factor behind this problem is that the internet banking and traditional banking are often run by two separate highly people oriented, change resistant, and the other IT oriented, change for change sake types.

The two teams often don't really talk...I mean real dialogue with each other.

Customers comparing the two operations are bound to be unhappy with one aspect or another.

about 11 years ago



I agree with Alex completely. The issue banks have at the moment is the allignment of IS/IT strategy with their top level strategic drivers. The old heads at the top have no idea what makes a basic successful website, let alone one that keeps millions customers happy!

Banks see their website as a future cost effective branch requiring no human input. This may be the case in the very distant future, however, right now people still prefer to buy from people. I believe that most banks' online strategies are generally far too focused on immediately removing human interaction to 'save costs' and reap profitability gains. I'm not convinced that this is sustainable.

Removing actual human interaction in the sales process requires technology that can replicate the behaviour of a human being. In other words banks need to be able to firstly replicate the experience that customers have in physical branches. After all this is what made them successful in the first place.

Unfortunately, this technology can only be developed with large samples of human behaviour data (web analytics currently).The problem is that banks want to jump straight into this future technology without understanding their customers online behaviour, what works and what doesn't etc...

Banks should be investing more in web analytics and their online customer service strategy in my opinion. Utilising technology that allows them to interact with there customers and generate significant meaningful data to then establish what the customers really want.

To build trust in online banking, banks must first determine what it is that customers truly want.

about 11 years ago

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