Lloyds Banking Group and Santander have come at the top of a list ranking the UK banks with the highest number of customer complaints.

Lloyds received almost 290,000 complaints in the first six months of this year, followed by Barclays and Santander, which contended with just over 240,000 customer gripes, according to the report by the Financial Services Authority.

A spokeswoman from Lloyds said: “Our relationship with our customers is at the heart of our business and we take all feedback very seriously. Like every organisation we know there are areas where we can improve and we are working with our customers to do just that. The vast majority are happy with the service we provide and this is reflected in the low number of complaints we receive relative to the high number of accounts our customers hold”.

Spanish banking giant Santander also rated poorly in terms of the time it took to deal with the complaints it received – only 46% of consumer grievances were dealt with in the recommended eight weeks.

Director of service quality and complaints at Santander Steve Williams, said: “We have introduced a number of initiatives to help improve service across the bank, including investing in 1,000 new jobs across our busiest branches and call centres, with the aim of reducing queuing at our busiest times and improving the quality of service that can be given to each customer. Improving service quality remains a priority for Santander”.

He admitted that the bank still has a long way to go but added that the processes already put in place do appear to be showing a slight improvement.

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