How Co-op bank stacks up
From customer service to current accounts, we compare the big six high street banks with the new player, the Co-operative
The sale by Lloyds of 4.8 million customers – as well as the 7,000 staff who work in 632 branches – turns the Co-operative bank into a high street giant at a stroke. It will control 10% of the UK’s entire banking branch network, and the deal turns the one-time ethical alternative into possibly the most powerful mutual in the land.
Michael Ossei, personal finance expert at uSwitch.com, called it a “massive deal that will well and truly put the Co-op on the banking map. This is really going to make the high street banks sit up and pay attention”.
Here we look at how the Co-op currently compares – from customer service to current accounts – with the major players.
Brands Includes Britannia, the former building society it took over in 2009, and internet bank Smile.
Who owns them? A mutual business, owned by its six million members.
Customer service Tends to score highly. Which? ranked Co-op bank second out of 28 banks with a score of 79%. JD Power gave Co-op bank a score of 734 out of 1,000, again putting it in second place.
Market share Now: just over 2% of the current account market. When the deal goes through, this will rise to more than 7%.
Complaints 21,000 banking and insurance (including PPI) complaints in the second half of 2011.
For current accounts 342 branches, the majority under the Britannia name, but increasing to almost 1,000 with the deal. Cash machine numbers will rise from 2,500 to 3,250.
For savers Its range of fixed-term deposit accounts paying up to 4% are rated best-buys by Moneyfacts. Popular with those looking for an ethical option.
For borrowers Offering some reasonable deals on mortgages, the Co-op has committed to lend up to £360m to first-time buyers in 2012.
Brands Lloyds TSB, Halifax, Bank of Scotland and Cheltenham & Gloucester.
Who owns them? Currently 38% state, 62% shareholder-owned.
Customer service In September 2011 a Which? survey scored Lloyds TSB 50% and Halifax 47% (23rd and 25th out of 28 banks respectively). The JD Power survey in November 2011, scored Lloyds TSB 698 out of 1,000, and Halifax 690. The industry average was 698.
Market share 22 million current accounts with a 30% market share.
Complaints Lloyds TSB had 238,000 banking and insurance complaints in the second half of 2011, while Bank of Scotland (including Halifax) received 193,000, according to the FSA. The group set aside £3.2bn to cover PPI mis-selling in 2011.
For current accounts The group has 2,875 branches and 6,143 ATMs.
For savers It has more than 21 million savings customers, but doesn’t currently have many deals in the best-buy tables.
For borrowers Lloyds says it is the UK’s “number one mortgage lender”, providing home loans to one in five new borrowers.
Brands Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest and Ulster Bank.
Who owns them?83% state-owned, 17% shareholders.
Customer service Which? scored NatWest and RBS 55% and 52% respectively (19th and 20th out of 28 banks). JD Power scored NatWest 704 out of 1,000, and RBS 687. The industry average was 698. Its recent computer meltdown affected millions of people, with Ulster Bank worst hit.
Market share Roughly 20% share of the current account market.
Complaints NatWest was the subject of 183,000 banking and insurance (including PPI) complaints in the second half of 2011, while the figure for RBS was 100,000, according to the FSA.
For current accounts 2,129 branches and around 8,000 cash machines (this includes Tesco ones).
For savers Doesn’t tend to feature heavily in the best-buy tables.
For borrowers Not much of a name to conjure with on mortgages, but NatWest recently launched some competitive deals for people who want to buy a new-build home under the government’s NewBuy scheme.
Brands HSBC and First Direct. The world’s second-largest banking and financial services group.
Who owns them? Shareholders – the group is a member of the FTSE 100.
Customer service Generally scores quite well. In the Which? survey, HSBC scored 58% (16th out of 28 banks), putting it ahead of its main rivals. JD Power scored HSBC 690 out of 1,000 – slightly below the industry average of 698. However, First Direct came top in both surveys, scoring 84% and 774 respectively.
Market share 12% share of the current account market.
Complaints 110,000 banking and insurance (including PPI) complaints in the second half of 2011, according to the FSA. Set aside £270m for PPI mis-selling claims in 2011.
For current accounts 1,250 branches and 3,300 cash machines. “Premier” is its upmarket deal for the better-off.
For savers The brand doesn’t tend to feature heavily in best-buy tables.
For borrowers HSBC is now one of the major mortgage lenders, with best-buy tracker and fixed deals, in particular its new five-year fix at 2.99%. But it has strict lending rules.
Brands Based in London, it is one of Britain’s biggest banks. Owns the Woolwich mortgage brand.
Who owns them? Shareholders do – it is a member of the FTSE 100.
Customer service In the Which? survey, Barclays scored 52% (20th out of 28 banks). In the JD Power survey it scored 710 out of 1,000, putting it in fourth place out of 13 – the industry average was 698. But its reputation has taken a battering from the Libor scandal.
Market share Barclays doesn’t disclose its share of the current account market, but it has 11.9m current accounts.
Complaints 269,000 banking and insurance (includes PPI) complaints in the second half of 2011, according to the FSA. Set aside £1bn to cover PPI mis-selling in 2011.
For current accounts
1,625 branches and 3,629 cash machines. Branches generally look swish.
For savers Barclays has often had the market-leading cash Isa rate. Its Loyalty Rewards Isa currently pays 3.05%.
For borrowers Woolwich has been a relatively big lender through the financial crisis, with its deals on fixes and trackers often in the best buys.
Brands Has absorbed Abbey National, Alliance & Leicester, and Bradford & Bingley’s savings business and branches.
Who owns them? Santander UK has one shareholder: Banco Santander, which is listed on the Madrid stock exchange.
Customer service Santander’s biggest weakness. Which? scored it 41%, bottom out of 28 banks. JD Power scored it a scary 666 out of 1,000, putting it second from bottom – the industry average was 698.
Market share 8% share of the current account market.
Complaints 172,000 banking and insurance (including PPI) complaints in the second half of 2011, according to the FSA. Set aside £538m to cover PPI mis-selling in 2011.
For current accounts 1,378 branches and 4,200 cash machines. Launched 123 account targeting those looking to switch bank.
For savers It has offered some strong deals on products such as cash Isas. Its Direct Isa paying 3.3% currently tops the Moneyfacts table.
For borrowers A big player in mortgages – but it has been scaling back its lending in recent months.
Brands The largest building society, it took over the Cheshire, Derbyshire and Dunfermline societies.
Who owns them? The brand is a mutual owned by its 15 million members.
Customer service Which? scored Nationwide 64% (ninth out of 28 banks). JD Power scored it 723 out of 1,000 – putting the mutual in third place. The industry average was 698.
Market share 7% share of the current account market.
Complaints 26,000 banking and insurance (including PPI) complaints in the second half of 2011, according to the FSA.
For current accounts Around 800 branches and 2,132 cash machines. The number of people switching to Nationwide has jumped 67% following the problems experienced by other banks.
For savers The UK’s second largest savings provider. It offers some competitive rates – current best-buys include MySave Online Plus paying 3.06%.
For borrowers Nationwide is a “top three” provider of mortgages. It has written a third of all the new mortgages taken out this year, as traditional lenders scaled back.