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Press Release

9th September

First Direct comes out on top in survey to find which banks customers are ‘most likely to recommend’

Findings from a study of UK banks released today reveals that First Direct is the bank customers would be ‘most likely to recommend’ to friends and family whilst Barclays, HSBC and Abbey came in the bottom three.

The study, sent to over 30,000 consumers, reveals that despite the onset of the ‘credit crunch’, UK consumers are positively influenced more by good customer service than the latest market-beating financial products, offers and services when it comes to making recommendations to others.

Carried out by integrated marketing agency Geronimo, and designed to capture customers’ perceptions of their own banks, the study used the Net Promoter Score* system (NPS) developed by Satmetrix Systems, and Bain & Company, and author Fred Reichheld. First Direct came first with nearly three quarters of its customers saying they would actively recommend it. Key reasons given include friendly, helpful and efficient staff, ease of use and excellent customer service.

The Co-Operative and Nationwide came second and third respectively, although the reasons given were different. The Co-op was praised for its ethical stance whilst Nationwide was rated highly because its products and charges were perceived to be very fair.

The NPS system, which subtracts the number of ‘detractors’ from ‘promoters’, calculated that Barclays was least likely to be recommended by its customers.

The Top Five:

First Direct (71% of customers would recommend First Direct and its NPS score is 57%)
Co-operative (56% of customers would recommend Co-operative and its NPS score is 37%)
Nationwide (52% of customers would recommend Nationwide and its NPS score is 25%)
Alliance & Leicester (50% of customers would recommend Alliance & Leicester and its NPS score is 22%)
Royal Bank of Scotland (36% of customers would recommend Royal Bank of Scotland and its NPS score is 10%)

The Bottom Five:

HBOS (26% of customers would recommend HBOS and their NPS score is -17%)
Lloyds TSB (24% of customers would recommend Lloyds and their NPS score is -19%)
Abbey (24% of customers would recommend Abbey and their NPS score is -20%)
HSBC (28% of customers would recommend HSBC and their NPS score is -20%)
Barclays (19% of customers would recommend Barclays and their NPS score is -35%)

Andy Snuggs, MD at Geronimo said:

”It is no coincidence that the top rated banks in our research have a clear positioning – their customers know what they stand for and the banks deliver; be it ‘personal service’ (First Direct), ‘ethical stance’ (Co-op) or ‘fair pricing’ (Nationwide).The big players need to address a number of areas including … what they actually stand for, what their customers’ expectations are and how can they start to meet and beat these; also how can they surprise and delight their customers, especially their more valuable ones”.

- Ends -

For Media Enquiries please contact James Holmes or Daniel Batchelor on 0207 201 0600 or email

About Geronimo

Geronimo is an independent, creative agency, developing effective solutions that are fit for purpose.

They embrace all direct and any digital channels, to drive response and increase brand engagement.

At Geronimo, we think integrated, we act integrated. No discipline is bolted on; all areas of the account team are represented round the table. And we only have one profit centre. We call this our One Team approach.

Geronimo works with many leading brands including: Direct Line, Direct Line for Business, SEAT Automotive, Motability Operations and Sara Lee. Their latest wins also include the BBC and GlaxoSmithKline. They have also recently been awarded all of the SEAT Fleet business without a pitch.

*About Net Promoter Score

Net Promoter is a discipline by which companies profitably grow by focusing on their customers. A successful Net Promoter program includes 5 elements: 1) metrics proven to link to growth; 2) leadership practices that instill customer focus, passion, and values; 3) organizational strategies to ensure adoption; 4) integration with core business processes, and 5) operational systems to support the initiative.

How the research was conducted

• Three questions were submitted into a fast.MAP online self completion survey

• The sample was randomly selected sample from fast.MAP’s Consumer Voice panel. This is a closed panel of over 30,000 profiled individuals recruited to match the UK Adults (18+) linked to census data

• The sample demographic is not given any indication as to the nature of the survey when they receive the email invitation to take the survey

• Survey despatched August 2008 and remained open for 7 days

• Survey sample size was 1,000

Net Promoter, NPS, and Net Promoter Score are trademarks of Satmetrix Systems, Inc., Bain & Company, and Fred Reichheld

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Definition Agency (FKA Limelight PR) in the following categories: Personal Finance, Business & Finance, for more information visit