Nationwide has been voted the most trusted bank or building society in a survey commissioned by price comparison site moneysupermarket.com. The poll, which saw Nationwide take 19 per cent of the vote, put NatWest in second place with 13 per cent and Halifax third with 11 per cent.
When asked what was most important when it came to putting trust in a bank or building society, 39 per cent of respondents said customer service and looking after their finances smoothly, just over a fifth said a good reputation, nine per cent said having the most competitive products while eight per cent cited 'being in good shape'.
"The traditional big four banks have constantly trumpeted themselves as Britain's most trusted names so it was a surprise to see them topped by Nationwide," said moneysupermarket.com's Kevin Mountford.
"What was particularly interesting was the reputation of prominent stable-mates. NatWest scored more than triple the number of votes that Royal Bank of Scotland did while HSBC greatly outranked First Direct. Nationwide performed brilliantly – not only clearly outstripping its rivals but also being the only building society in the top ten," he said.
"The Northern Rock crisis has clearly focused people's minds with service, reputation and lack of problems being uppermost in people's minds – even ahead of product offerings," continued Mountford, "Northern Rock is now only most trusted by 0.5 per cent of the population, showing that trust in a brand can diminish in seconds."
Following Nationwide, NatWest and Halifax, were Lloyds TSB with 10.2 per cent, HSBC with 8.9 per cent, then Barclays with 6.5 per cent and Abbey with 4.5 per cent. The Royal Bank of Scotland came eighth with 4.2 per cent, followed by the Co-op with 3.7 per cent; joint 10th were First Direct and Alliance and Leicester both with 3.4 per cent of the vote.
But despite only coming fifth in the Moneysupermarket.com poll, HSBC was first in a Defaqto survey into the cheapest mortgage provider of 2007. Defaqto said borrowers with HSBC paid £3,361.99 on a £50,000 interest-only mortgage last year, which is £532.39 cheaper than the most expensive deal.
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