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August 2022 bank service quality ratings
Bank service ratings_BVA-BDRC

Starling and Monzo lead SME bank league tables


The quarterly bank account rankings mandated by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) confirmed Starling and Monzo as the best bank account providers for small businesses.

7th Sep 2022
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With satisfaction rankings of 80% or more across several categories, Starling Bank has established itself as the darling of the small business world (and most popular for consumer accounts) over the past year.

2022 business banking service quality ratingsHandelsbanken, a long-time favourite of AccountingWEB members, held the top spot for business accounts during 2021, but has been pushed into third place in the latest ratings by Monzo, a new arrival on the business banking scene.

In terms of overall service quality, the main high-street brands occupy 6th-13th place in the ratings compiled for the CMA by market research organisation BVA BDRC. 

When it comes to digital and mobile banking, Barclays, NatWest (equal 4th) and Lloyds (equal 6th) are relatively competitive, but occupy the 7th–9th slots in the overall service quality list, where they lag 40% or more behind their newer rivals.

However, the high-street brands still hold the upper hand when it comes to business account overdrafts and loans. Handelsbanken was streets ahead for this aspect of its service, with Santander, NatWest/RBS, Barclays and Metro occupying the next five positions.

Bounce Back Loans

Starling got involved, somewhat controversially, in helping business clients to access Bounce Back Loans, but neither it nor Tide gained enough responses to earn a rating in the lending serivce category.

Monzo does not offer loan or overdraft services.

The charts are compiled every six months to monitor bank performance in Great Britain, with separate tables compiled for Northern Ireland. The ratings are based on how likely respondents would be to recommend their provider to a friend, relative or other business. The survey provides a composite rating, based on separate assessments for the quality of online and mobile provision, branch and overdraft services and the quality of relationship management for small business customers.

While Starling and other digital challenger banks have been enjoying good customer scores and steady growth in customer numbers, the outlook isn’t all rosy. Politicians including the former counter-fraud minister Lord Agnew and business secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg have both highlighted Starling as one of the biggest conduits for Bounce Back Loan fraud.


Replies (5)

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By JustAnotherUser
08th Sep 2022 08:10

Moved to starling as soon as our bank blocked all crypto transfers to exchanges, as have most of the high street banks. I must say, Starling are amazing, simple, smart intuitive apps, easy to use and have had zero issues since sign up...

.. sign up was done in my kitchen, on a phone and I deposited my first funds within 4 hours after they verified my ID which was also very very simple.

Signed up the kids (16+) as well, just as easily.... used Starling as to open an account on 2 of the high street banks I checked, you had to go in branch.

Recommend Starling to everyone now.

Thanks (1)
By Paul Crowley
08th Sep 2022 12:58
Thanks (2)
Replying to Paul Crowley:
By Hugo Fair
08th Sep 2022 19:43

Well ... if you wanted to borrow money (particularly a BBL) then it was good news + good news (just not for everyone else)!

Thanks (2)
Replying to Hugo Fair:
By Paul Crowley
09th Sep 2022 12:17

If only Starling knew the clients that they lent to. But no, open a brand new Starling account with BBL immediately credited, even if the other meanies turned you down.

Thanks (2)
Replying to Paul Crowley:
By spilly
10th Sep 2022 12:55

I opened a personal account with Starling last month and almost instantly received an offer of a loan from them, with weekly follow-up emails exhorting me to borrow money.
No idea why they seem so keen to lend to me when I haven’t so much as looked at their loan interest rates!

Thanks (0)