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Low satisfaction for bailed-out banks

Customers of the state-owned mortgage banks are among the most dissatisfied of all UK borrowers, a survey by Which? has found.

Halifax scored worst overall, with an average customer satisfaction score of 45 per cent, followed by Northern Rock at 47 per cent. Royal Bank of Scotland was also near the bottom of the table with a score of 53 per cent. Barclays and Abbey, which did not receive Government bailouts, also performed poorly, with 52 per cent and 50 per cent respectively. The biggest building society, Nationwide, scored above average at 69 per cent. Overall, the average level of satisfaction with mortgage lenders increased from 58 per cent last year to 62 per cent this year.

Borrowers were asked to rate how satisfied they were with lenders’ customer services, clarity of statements, how well they were kept up to date with rate changes and how happy they were with their mortgage rate.

HSBC-owned First Direct scored highest with 91 per cent, followed by the One Account (part of RBS) with 77 per cent, Coventry Building Society with 75 per cent and Britannia Building Society with 74 per cent.

Which? Money editor James Daley says: “The big lenders are still performing below average despite all the public funding some have received over the last year.”

CML director general Michael Coogan says: “Lenders have been working hard, under very challenging market conditions, to communicate effectively with their borrowers and treat them fairly.”

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