Metro Bank’s Riseborough: Customer satisfaction “not rocket science”

The prioritisation of banking services over products and other offerings has kept Metro Bank at the top of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)’s latest banking customer satisfaction list, according to Paul Riseborough, chief commercial officer at Metro Bank.

“In a sense, it is not rocket science,” says Riseborough. “If you provide great service and you are not afraid to open seven days a week, early and late, and empower your colleagues and all that good stuff, then customers do respond well to that.

“It’s not that we are being arrogant about it, in fact we are very paranoid about holding onto our lead and make sure that we hold onto our customers. But it is about that model, it is about investing in prioritising service over products or anything else really,” he says.

On August 15 the CMA published customer satisfaction results for personal and business banking, which remained largely unchanged since February.

Metro and First Direct were both at the top of the leader board for personal banking. And despite the uncovering of an accounting error earlier this year which caused the banks shares to fall 40 percent, Metro Bank was placed second on the business banking table, 16 percent behind Handelsbanken.

The league tables were introduced by the CMA in August 2018 with the aim of encouraging consumers to shop around for their banking providers. Independent surveys for this update to the tables, were carried out between July 2018 and June 2019.

For Riseborough, few UK customers are shopping around for their banking needs.

“Not enough customers move their banking around to get the best value, to get the best service and things like the CMA scores give people confidence to move to new ground,” says Riseborough.“We obviously need to do more as an industry to get as many people switching around as possible because we know that that will keep the banks honest and drive better service and product outcomes.”

For Handelsbanken, continuing with the same business model since the early 1970s has been key to the success of the Swedish bank, according to Mikael Sorensen, chief executive officer at Handelsbanken UK.

“Our advice at Handelsbanken must always be what is best for the customer, not what is most profitable for the bank at the time,” said Sorensen. “Our branches are focused on having satisfied customers and therefore provide very high levels of customer service. We are delighted to see this recognised by our customers in the CMA survey.”

Handelsbanken ranked sixth alongside the Bank of Scotland for online and mobile banking services. For Sorensen, having branches for customers will stay a priority.

“Our branches will always remain the home for the long term relationships we form with customers,” said Sorensen. “However, our customers can of course also engage with us via our online and mobile services and we are continually investing in these services to ensure they are slick, secure and easy-to-use for our customers.”

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