Banks have been forced to adapt to the difficulties presented by coronavirus in recent months. Cash use saw some of the most dramatic responses to
Banks have been forced to adapt to the difficulties presented by coronavirus in recent months. Cash use saw some of the most dramatic responses to the pandemic, with it being reported in July that one in eight banks and cash points had been shut down due to staff shortages, social distancing and physical cash demand dropping.
Coronavirus, in all likelihood, probably accelerated existing trends as many consumers (likely younger ones) now manage their finances and spending via digital routes.
However, while many digital-only challenger banks have emerged in recent years, new analysis has highlighted that consumer sentiment towards these companies may not be that strong.
New research from finder.com and Brandeye analysed over 800,000 social media posts and a survey of over 2,000 adults.
The findings found that consumer sentiment for banking companies had fallen in aggregate but this drop was not shared evenly.
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Jon Ostler, the CEO of finder.com, commented on the research: “Digital-only banks have enjoyed a golden period where dissatisfied consumers of traditional banks have flocked to them, attracted by market-leading apps, innovative features and a more human way of communicating to customers.
“Now these digital-only banks are becoming recognised players in the industry, it is natural that they will start to be held to a higher standard.
“This is especially true during a crisis like COVID where people are relying on their bank more than ever – some banks have handled the situation better than others.
“Digital-only banks are still comfortably ahead in the sentiment stakes compared to the incumbents but perhaps it was inevitable that the high street banks would claw back some ground.
“The challengers will be hoping this fall in positive sentiment is just temporary and not the start of a bigger trend.”
Nic Ray, the CEO of BrandsEye, also noted that companies may begin to engage with social media more, which should hopefully improve customer engagement: “As the adoption of digital banking services accelerated during the pandemic, the industry can expect an increase in digital conversation that includes social media customer service requests and customer feedback.
“Swiftly identifying and responding to service requests, and surfacing valuable feedback from within all of the noise of social media will be critical to improving customer experiences and building long-term customer loyalty for both digital and high-street banks.”
The research highlighted which specific banking companies saw the biggest drop in sentiment, which may be able to guide some customers who are looking to move to a new financial institution.
The sentiment data is as follows:
- Atom – Sentiment pre-lockdown: 11 percent, Sentiment post-lockdown: nine percent
- Starling – Sentiment pre-lockdown: 12 percent, Sentiment post-lockdown: minus one percent
- Monzo – Sentiment pre-lockdown: two percent, Sentiment post-lockdown: minus two percent
- Monese – Sentiment pre-lockdown: zero percent, Sentiment post-lockdown: minus 19 percent
- Revolut – Sentiment pre-lockdown: minus 18 percent, Sentiment post-lockdown: minus 29 percent
- HSBC – Sentiment pre-lockdown: minus 31 percent, Sentiment post-lockdown: minus 30 percent
- Lloyds – Sentiment pre-lockdown: minus 36 percent, Sentiment post-lockdown: minus 33 percent
- Santander – Sentiment pre-lockdown: minus 21 percent, Sentiment post-lockdown: minus 33 percent
- NatWest – Sentiment pre-lockdown: minus 40 percent, Sentiment post-lockdown: minus 37 percent
- Barclays – Sentiment pre-lockdown: minus 22 percent, Sentiment post-lockdown: minus 42 percent