Customers still lean to high street banks

Consumers are still more likely to take new accounts with high street banks than non-bank brands offering financial service products despite the turmoil seen in the banking sector over the past year.

Nearly two-thirds (65.2%) of respondents to a YouGov poll commissioned by Marketing Week would not consider taking financial products – credit card, savings or current accounts – from the supermarkets and other non-financial services brands.

YouGov asked 1,716 adults whether they would take out banking facilities with Tesco Personal Finance, M&S Money, Sainsbury’s, ICICI, O2, B&Q and Pizza Express or their favourite charity. Of these, Tesco Personal Finance scored the highest, with 20.28% saying they would consider taking on new facilities.

Todd Davis, financial services specialist at YouGov, says despite negative headlines there is “conservatism” among banking customers that means many consumers are reluctant to move.

Many brands have been planning to extend their financial services portfolio or enter the market for the first time to tap into a perceived lack of trust in established financial services institutions in the wake of the credit crisis.

Tesco, through Tesco Personal Finance, has been leading the way as it looks to establish itself as a standalone bank offering products such as mortgages.

However, a survey of 2,000 consumers by Morgan Stanley found that only 8% would either definitely or be very likely to switch their account while nearly a third (31%) said they definitely would not or were very unlikely to switch.

The pattern was repeated when people were asked about switching savings account, with 9% definitely or very likely to switch and 3% very likely to change their mortgage.

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