Suitability service could restore public faith in products

MoneyExpert.com is attempting to tackle the general public’s disenchantment with financial services products by launching a suitability service for customers.

Research commissioned by MoneyExpert.com and conducted by MORI shows that up to 4.5 million people are unhappy with their banking products including fixed rate mortgages, credit cards, easy access savings accounts, personal loans and current accounts.

The suitability service being launched combines results from research with a product database covering the whole market.

This enables MoneyExpert.com to shortlist the right products for each person based on factors such as service, product features and costs.

Consumers can see whether providers offering the best rates also offer the best service, or include features they want.

Sean Gardner, chief executive of MoneyExpert.com, says: “Our research shows that when asked what they consider important about a mortgage, people say levels of customer service are just as important as rate or product features.

“Service is particularly important for mortgages as customers need to be able to rely on their lender to process the application quickly and efficiently and, when the loan is approved, to pay out the funds swiftly.

“They will also need ongoing support as their lives and circumstances change.”

Gardner says existing best buy tables miss out the important factor of service levels and adds companies that perform well on service include Nationwide, Britannia and Royal Bank of Scotland.

He adds: “Many of these providers are major players in the mortgage market but are not always prominent in existing best buy tables.”

“Customers need a simple-to-use service which allows more informed comparisons to be made between products.”