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Will current account complaints continue to fall?

Jordan Williams | 16:50 Wednesday 2nd May 2018

The number of complaints the FCA receives regarding current accounts is likely to continue to decrease, an industry expert believes.

The FCA recently revealed that 509,047 complaints were made to financial services firms about current accounts during the second half of 2017, down by around 10,000 compared with the first half of 2017.

Some 2.21 million complaints were received by firms (excluding PPI) in H2 2017, around 13,000 fewer than the previous six-month period.

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Resolving problems? 

A spokesperson for HSBC UK told Specialist Banking: “Providing excellent customer service and satisfaction is paramount to everyone at HSBC.

“When things go wrong, we want to resolve problems as quickly and fairly as possible for customers and learn from them.'

According to the FCA, 56% of all financial services complaints (excluding PPI) were resolved within three business days.

“We consistently evaluate the valuable feedback and customer service data we receive to improve products, services and customer experience,' added the spokesperson for HSBC UK.

Edoardo Moreni, CEO and co-founder of Emma Technologies, said: “I think the number of complaints won't stop decreasing and this will be the same with challenger banks.'

Edoardo added: “Personal finance is something so deep and 'personal' that every single consumer has different needs.

“It's really difficult to build a product that fits a really large audience.'

When asked if the complaints could result in more customers switching to specialist banks, Edoardo said he didn't think the situation would change.

“Challenger banks have built really nice experiences that work wonderfully for a secondary account, but the road to [having] them fully used as primary ones is [long], ' Edoardo added.

“Banks will come up with their own challengers to try to enlarge their product offering and compete in an overcrowded market.

“The market is getting more and more fragmented, so no one will be capable of building a central hub.

“It's more likely that consumers will end up with three to four current accounts.'

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Technical issues? 

John Gunn, executive chairman at SynerGIS Capital, said banking customers were becoming increasingly disenfranchised by branch closures, poor returns and long waiting times for the resolution of their problems.

“Issues which previously could have been sorted out over the counter by a sympathetic, trained member of staff are now escalating into full-blown, frustrated complaints.'

John claimed: “The recent TSB outage is obviously going to distort the next published complaints figure to a great degree.'

In April, TSB reported that its customers had problems regarding access to accounts via its website and mobile app, as their accounts were moved to its new banking platform.

John highlighted how challenger banks were often offering new ways of resolving issues.

“Challenger banks with fresh IT infrastructure often offer multiple channels for the resolution of issues, such as chatroom and social media.

“In addition, open beta testing encourages a collegiate and community approach with customers for the resolution of problems and troubleshooting.'

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