What you need to know

There are signs that times are changing in the financial services sector, and that any legacy brands who show any signs of complacency could be caught out. Challenger brands are disrupting the market, and younger consumers are looking differently at the role of the financial institutions that they use. Millennial and Generation Z consumers are far more willing to allow banks into the private aspects of their lives, offering the chance for brands to be more proactive in helping customers without appearing pushy or intrusive.

While previously perceptions of customer service may have only been limited to personal experience and word-of-mouth from friends or family, the decision of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to create a six-monthly report of the top performing banks on recommendation means that brands can carve out a reputation that is noted by all. Ultimately this should benefit the consumer, as more focus will be placed on offering great service. It should also pressure brands into investing in aspects like technology and rewarding loyalty – two factors that will become increasingly important when trying to appeal to customers of tomorrow – and raise expectations across the sector as a whole.

Products covered in this Report

Since December 2016, Mintel has conducted brand research on more than 65 brands operating in financial services markets. As well as consumers’ attitudes towards brands, we investigate how many people have used those brands, how positive their experience of the brand was, and whether they would recommend that brand.

Research is run at a brand level, rather than based on a particular product. So rather than asking specifically about people’s perception of Barclays’ current accounts or of Direct Line’s car insurance, for example, we ask about their overall perception of the Barclays and Direct Line brands.

Data in this Report is drawn from fieldwork conducted between December 2016 and May 2019. Many brands have been covered on multiple occasions and, unless otherwise stated, Mintel’s data refers to the most recent wave of research in which a given brand featured. Please refer to the Appendix for details of the Reports from which the brand data has been taken.

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