Monzo and Starling, the two British fintech rivals, have topped a new survey of 16,000 people for best current accounts (by overall customer satisfaction) with Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) performing worst.
The best current accounts survey reflects the extent to which digital-only fintechs with responsive and slick front-end applications have stolen a march on their established peers when it comes to customer satisfaction.
This summer Starling reported its first full year of profitability, reporting a pre-tax profit of £32.1 million for the financial year ending 31 March 2022 from a pre-tax loss of £31.5 million the previous year. It has 2.7 million customer accounts. Starling has also continued to build on the mortgage capability it gained through the acquisition of Fleet Mortgages in July 2021, with more than £2 billion of mortgages now on its balance sheet.
Monzo meanwhile now has over six million customers and has persuaded 360,000 to pay for its Monzo Plus and Monzo Premium accounts. It reported losses of £119.0 million in FY2021, although it saw its net fee and commission income increase 93% to £80.8 million. Monzo reported a rise in technology costs of £3.5 million to what is still a competitive £17.9 million in line as it served an average of 5.1 million customers during 2021.
Approximately 1000 customers a year are surveyed across Great Britain for each provider; results are published when at least 100 customers have provided an eligible score for that service in the survey period.
Some 16,061 people were surveyed in total for the biannual report.
(Watchdog the Competition and Markets Authority makes it compulsory for all relevant banks to take part and share the findings.)
Results are updated every six months, in August and February.
When it comes to business accounts, the top-ranked business current account providers in Great Britain are:
- Starling Bank (1st)
- Monzo (2nd)
- Handelsbanken (3rd)
The bottom-ranked business current account providers in Great Britain are:
- The Co-operative Bank (15th)
- Virgin Money (=13th)
- HSBC UK (=13th)
Adam Land, senior director, CMA, said: “As the rising cost of living bites, it’s important that people and businesses have the information they need to manage their money and make savings. These results show how banks are treating their customers at a time when many are feeling the pinch.. if your bank doesn’t match up to the competition – you can vote with your feet and make a switch.”
Fraud continues to hurt banks meanwhile and the new fintechs are no exception. Monzo noted in its most recent annual report that “frustratingly, UK customers have continued to suffer as criminals have found new ways to defraud them. We’ve continued to compensate customers who’ve fallen victim to financial crime.
“In FY2022 this cost us £16.0m, up 32% from FY2021.”