HSBC Accounts for Over a Quarter of Negative Customer Comments Online for UK Banks in November According to Web Listening Report from DigitalMR

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HSBC accounts for highest share (28%) of negative customer comments online. RBS achieves a fifth (21%) of positive comments. ING Direct achieves highest Net Sentiment Score (NSS) with 64% while the banks with the lowest NSS are NatWest -6% and HSBC with -8%. Findings according to latest active web listening report from social media research specialist DigitalMR.

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It seems ING Direct is the bank to benchmark for excellent customer service. It has been consistently rated highly by its customers right across 2011, so it’s no surprise to see them outperforming the other main high street banks for November.

Social media research specialist DigitalMR releases latest web listening report on what customers are saying about UK high street banks online.

DigitalMR analysed thousands of customer comments about high street banks for the month of November 2011. Nearly two thirds (60%) of these customer views are positive, compared with 40% negative. The first ever annual banking report covering the whole of 2011 will be available later this month The banks that receive the highest share of online mentions are: HSBC (20%), Lloyds TSB (17%), RBS (17%) and Halifax (11%).

There is a large difference in the positive and negative mentions that some of these banks generate. RBS (21%), Lloyds TSB (16%), HSBC (16%) and Halifax (13%) received the highest share of positive posts. However HSBC (28%) and Lloyds TSB (18%), NatWest (14%) and RBS (12%) receive the highest shares of negative comments.

By calculating the difference in the number of positive posts to negative ones the winner for November is ING Direct with a Net Sentiment Score (NSS) of 64% followed by Clydesdale Bank with 60%. Across November only two of the banks measured achieved a negative NSS, NatWest with minus 6% and HSBC (-8%).

DigitalMR’s report (powered by SociaNuggets) analyses thousands of customer comments posted via a range of relevant finance related websites and open access social media platforms. It measures, not only the number of comments posted by consumers on the internet, but also sentiment – whether these posts are positive or negative.

Results are based on comments posted by consumers on the major UK banks: Lloyds TSB, HSBC, Halifax, NatWest, Bank of Ireland, Santander, Barclays, RBS, ING Direct, and Clydesdale Bank.

Managing Director of DigitalMR, Michalis Michael commented: “It seems ING Direct is the bank to benchmark for excellent customer service. It has been consistently rated highly by its customers right across 2011, so it’s no surprise to see them outperforming the other main high street banks for November.”

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1)    In their words – sample customer comments
ING Direct:
“ING Direct customer service is awesome, connected to a real person, problem solved in 2 minutes. Thank you!

“My intention would be to leave some funds in there and save for the new ISA year but tie the rest up in fixed term accounts. The three year deals don’t seem that bad these days. Clydesdale seems a decent one!”

“Nat West - what a joke - they manipulate their customers into "improving" their accounts but really it is just an excuse to get fees off them. I have been with them for over 10 years and in that time they have become the non-listening bank. I wanted to consolidate debts created by small home improvement bills - they wouldn't give me a lone but would offer me a mortgage nearly doubling the debt”.

“I last made payment to this loan in 2007. This is about the enforceability of the loan if the prescribed terms are incorrect or missing. This loan is on my credit file has having been defaulted in 2007, but this matter has now been complicated by the fact that HSBC have merged this loan with a bank account I used to hold with them”.

Click here for further customer comments and more about web listening reports

For regular reports and more information:
Michalis A. Michael
tel: +44 751 571 0370

About DigitalMR
DigitalMR understands what people think and feel when they share views online. It is a specialist agency which provides a holistic approach to web based market research. It specialises in utilising social media research, especially active web-listening, and online communities to enhance its business consulting approach. The agency has pioneered new methods in online focus groups alongside tools such as video diaries, bulletin boards and online ethnography. DigitalMR is headed by founder and MD, Michalis Michael and has offices in London UK, Nicosia Cyprus, and Columbus Ohio, in the US.

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Michalis A. Michael
Digital MR
+44 751 571 0370
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