Britons would rather bank with John Lewis than HSBC or Lloyds

Mistrust in disgraced banking giants is revealed by new survey

LAST UPDATED AT 12:01 ON Wed 29 Aug 2012

BRITONS' confidence in high street banks has hit a new low after a study showed consumers believe retailers like John Lewis or Asda would be more trustworthy places for their current accounts.

The report, published today by Uswitch.com, reveals that if John Lewis moved into banking, three-out-of-four customers would be happy for the department store to take care of their money.

The poll asked around 1,300 people to rate which well-known brands they would move to if they provided current accounts. John Lewis came first, while its supermarket arm Waitrose came second and grocery giant Asda came third. Morrison's, House of Fraser and Amazon also rated highly.

In comparison, the study showed that less than one-in-ten customers believe their current bank is good value.

The survey reflects the damage done to the reputations of traditional banks, which have been hit by a series of scandals including mis-selling payment protection insurance, interest rate manipulation and money laundering allegations.

The poll also asked customers whether they receive good customer service from their banks. Retailers or supermarkets that have recently moved into banking were rated highest with 69.2 per cent of respondents saying they did. Traditional high street banks scored only 36.6 per cent, behind building societies and newer banks, like Metro bank, which launched in 2010.

Marks and Spencer has already opened its first bank branches and in October will launch a current account. Tesco, which already offers insurance and credit cards, is expected to launch a current account next year.

Louis Brooke, of Move Your Money, which campaigns for people to switch to ethical and local banks, told the Daily Mail: "For years, the big banks have not bothered competing in the current account market and instead made it as difficult as possible for customers to switch whilst swindling them for everything they can.

"The banks' contempt for their customers is finally coming home to roost."

Michael Ossei, personal finance expert at Uswitch.com, said: "It is a telling reflection of the UK banking industry that consumers are willing to put their trust in brands that have no previous banking experience." · 

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