Mutuals come out on top for service

Findings of independent research from GfK NOP and published by the Building Societies Association shows mutuals have outperformed banks across various aspects of customer service, including treating customers fairly, value for money and being trusted to give good advice.

The research shows savers and borrowers with mutual financial providers are more satisfied than customers of other financial providers.

Some 70% of mutual mortgage customers were extremely or very satisfied, compared to 63% of borrowers with other institutions. 59% of savers with mutuals were extremely or very satisfied, compared to 47% of savers with other institutions.

Customers were also asked their opinions on eleven separate aspects of service, and mutual institutions out-scored their plc counterparts in every area, some by very significant margins.

Adrian Coles, director-general of the BSA, says: “Mutual organisations have continued to deliver better levels of service to their customers than their plc rivals, a fact that has been corroborated again by independent research.  The last few years have been some of the most turbulent for financial firms, so it’s great to see mutual organisations flying the customer service flag with such consistency.

“Providing a high level of customer service is inherent to the mutual model – the institution’s core purpose is to serve its owners, who are also its customers.  This contrasts with institutions that are owned by external shareholders.”