ING and IF top empathy table

ING Direct and Intelligent Finance have come out top in a customer empathy league table compiled by researchers Harding & Yorke.

Harding & Yorke compiles its empathy rating index from a survey in which 40 trained researchers analyse customer interactions with leading firms and give them a rating from one to 10. The average scores are then ranked in a table.

ING Direct, which launched into the mortgage market in October 2006, was voted number one for customer empathy in the league table. HBOS brand IF came in at number two.

Abbey, HSBC and Standard Life Bank complete the top five, while Woolwich and First Direct come in eighth and 10th place respectively.

In the previous league table, compiled from a survey in July 2006, Barclays, under the Woolwich brand, topped the list with First Direct, another Barclays lender, close on its heels. Lindsay Sinclair, chief executive of ING Direct, says: “When we launched our mortgage products in October, we were determined to bring ING Direct’s forthright approach to this market.

“We are delighted with Harding & Yorke’s endorsement of how our approach is being welcomed and appreciated.”

Cammy Amaira, director of sales for IF, says: “IF has always striven to provide customers with fair and transparent products and also top class service. It’s fantastic to be recognised for doing things right for the customer. We are delighted with these results.”

A spokesman for Woolwich says: “It is disappointing not to take first place again but we are working hard at ensuring our service standards are of the highest order.

“We will be aiming to move up the empathy table again over the coming months.”