MYM Poll shows the depth of public demand for better banking

Zoe Tyndall explains what our recent poll about the Post Office’s proposed current account says about public demand for better banking. 
 
Following last week’s announcement from the Post Office that they are to launch a new current account, Move Your Money conducted an online poll of supporters to explore opinions on the subject. At this point, I’d normally recommend that you stop reading — campaign groups’ online “polls” are normally pointless exercises, which push leading questions on to small, self-selecting groups to find North Korean levels of support for whatever cause happens to be being championed.

Such polls often inadvertently cause problems for campaign groups, as they serve to show how dissimilar their supporters are from the public at large.

However, for Move Your Money the opposite has been shown to be true — of the (admittedly small sample of) 151 respondents, who answered the online poll, attitudes towards banking and trust in banking have been shown to be broadly in line with public opinion across the UK.

The results of this poll say something interesting about what customers are looking for in banks, and what citizens are looking for in the UK banking sector, but they also say something more about the breadth of support which the Move Your Money campaign message enjoys.

When asked what features the new Post Office current account should offer, the most frequently selected options, are the “hygiene factors” — those elements that are the basic requirements of any current account: access to the ATM network free of charge, offering a debit card, and being accepted by all shops and online retailers.

After these, come two elements of a current account which probably read to most like they should be hygiene factors — so basic a requirement that a bank shouldn’t have to promise them: “open and transparent account costs and charges” and “good customer service”, both selected by over 90% of respondents.

In November 2012, YouGov conducted a 2000 nationally representative sample online, asking what banks have to do to build trust amongst customers. Echoing the Move Your Money poll, the top answer came out as “behaving fairly and transparently with customers” (62%), with 45% also saying “only selling me the things I need”.

As the widespread culture of mis-selling amongst Britain’s major banks becomes clear, from PPI being pushed from every high street branch and call centre, to Libor rigging in the city, citizens are seeing ever more clearly the links between a broken banking sector which doesn’t work for Britain, and broken banks which don’t work for customers.

Against the backdrop of 60% saying they don’t trust high street banks to look after their money (YouGov, 2012), it is no wonder that trusted brands such as the Post Office are entering a market full of customers who are looking to move their money and bank on something better.

This story was originally published at moveyourmoney.org.uk in 2013.

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