Stalwart bank brands play the loyalty card

A month ago I changed my bank. I’m already fighting with the new people in charge of my money over £70 worth of what I consider to be unwarranted charges. Our cover story this week suggests that by bothering to change my bank at all, I am in a minority.

A month ago I changed my bank. I’m already fighting with the new people in charge of my money over £70 worth of what I consider to be unwarranted charges. Our cover story this week suggests that by bothering to change my bank at all, I am in a minority.

In the week that the big four high street banks report their latest bumper profits, we ask what kind of threat the likes of O2, Tesco and the other supermarkets hold for the banks that have ceded so much consumer goodwill in recent times.

It is, after all, getting serious. Tesco has talked about tapping the wholesale credit markets. We commissioned YouGov to carry out some exclusive research for us on the prospects of these new entrants. The results are surprising. Two-thirds of those polled say they wouldn’t consider taking out any kind of financial product with a brand from outside of the traditional banking sector. That is despite reports elsewhere of consumer confidence in banking falling to new lows.

Our feature, which begins on page 14, is definitely worth a read if you think your brand’s future includes an attempt on the financial services market. It also includes interviews with marketers from the major bank brands who offer their views.

Elsewhere, the author of the feature Louise Jack has penned an analysis on the growing demand for mobile banking, based on data that she came across while researching the piece. We’ve published that on the Marketing Week website.

And I’m going to blog on the following (rather facetious) question. In an era when everybody else is focusing on loyalty and customer retention, what is the job of a bank marketer?

On first glance it appears that marketers of these brands have a fairly simple job. After all, if they know that their customers are unlikely to leave, more out of a sense of inertia than any kind of affection, what is filling their days? Marketers in the banking sector, please do not write in. I’m not serious. Besides, I’ve polled a few banking marketers in off-the-record conversations today and have a much wider view to share on the future of marketing in the financial services sector. It’s there on my blog to be shot down and argued with as of now.

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