Does this survey reflect true to how good they are?

Independent survey from August 2020.


No, Metro banks isn’t great yet comes third… It probably comes down to how happy you are with it, rather than what is best.

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Yeah, exactly that.

Note that NatWest (11) and RBS (14) have hsbc and virgin in between them… But is going to offer the same experience.

Same with Yorkshire (14) and Clydesdale (17) - it’s the same bank!


I always think exactly the same!

In fact, Virgin Money, Yorkshire and Clydesdale are all the same bank!

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What about first direct and HSBC, that’s quite a big gap? :smiley:

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I can vouch for Starling being VERY good. I’ve had to chat to them a couple of times recently (once about a new card order and the second about Google Pay transactions) and wow; they reply fast are friendly and sorted the small issues I had incredibly quickly.

I was most impressed both times.


I had some issues with them in the past, they closed my account, without any explanation… No sure what I did to trigger that :man_shrugging:

This is most definitely the case digitally (online and mobile banking) and I assume with respect to telephone banking and customer support too, but English and Welsh residents who bank with RBS have very few RBS branches left to visit after the huge closures south of the Scottish border between 2017 and 2019. I know RBS now say that their customers can be serviced in NatWest branches for the sake of convenience, but perhaps how much NatWest employees can help an RBS account holder is more limited than one of their own (maybe they can do the basics but cannot take out new products for example)? Any English/Welsh RBS account holders on here, is this the case? Or can you use a NatWest branch as one of your own?

You can do anything now as far as I know since the blocks in the IT system which created a virtual wall between the brands have been removed.

I’m an RBS account holder living in England, but I am technically a “Scottish customer” as I hold my accounts at Child & Co and Drummonds, which are run from that side of the group. Despite being nominally “Scottish” I have dealt with these accounts in English NatWest branches many times and not had an issue.

@marius.fanu on First Direct - HSBC run their brands with more separation inside the group, this is true for both First Direct and M&S Bank. It’s more of a loosely connected set of banks, sharing some backend infrastructure, rather than rebadged versions of the same bank. They are all run fundamentally separately.

You can even see this in the layout of their apps, for example - they aren’t identical copies in the same way RBS/NatWest/Ulster are, but different bespoke designs running (presumably) on the same underlying platform.


Good to know (especially if I want to take advantage of an RBS switching offer in the future)! Thank you!

How very fancy! Do you mind me asking if that was through the old sort code selector from the RBS account sign up (which I believe has now been removed)?


Yes it was, although I don’t think it has been removed? I opened another account fairly recently and I was asked where I wanted it to be - with the option to put in a sort code or select my “existing branch” (Child & Co in my case).

If the branches don’t show in the branch selector, but you get the option to put in a sort code, simply use either of these sort codes.

15-80-00 (for Child & Co)
16-00-38 (for Drummonds)


I also find with this the question is misleading. It’s not how satisfied with your bank but how likely are you to recommend it.

I’m happy with my high street bank but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to others (but maybe that’s just me).

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And that’s the thing. For some people I would say they should try a fintech, for others I would probably pick the bank with the simplest app/online banking.

That said… maybe the “best” online banking/app is the one that is somewhere in the middle as it suits more people?

Pretty much the same as phone networks, it depends on the coverage, your usage and how you’ll use the device etc.

And the phones themselves :slight_smile:

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Indeed - for some people local factors like phone coverage in their area (like branch coverage) are most important while others would think of customer service as more important, as an example.

This sort of thing is inherently highly subjective, so usefulness is limited. However, if a bank is consistently bottom of the table then I would say the service must be problematic somehow as not everyone who rated them as poor can be an isolated case!

I always find it interesting to cross-reference the ratings with the NI table for banks which operate in both GB and NI, as sometimes there is an interesting discrepancy.


I wouldn’t say that means the survey itself is misleading. It is what it is and should be interpreted as such.

But perhaps you’re referring to the title of the thread?

Ah, thank you! (I think it was a rumour on the MSE forums that led me to believe it had been removed)

Is the service you get with Child & Co and Drummonds exactly the same as a normal RBS customer? And does Child still have those nice blue cards?!

I think that rumour is wrong and possibly based on existing customers attempting to open an account which is different as the branch selector defaults to your existing branch. Either that or they tested removing it for a bit and then brought it back?

You do still get the nice blue card and branded chequebook with Child & Co, Drummonds only give you a branded chequebook and a normal RBS card. Paper statements are branded for both.

I think the service is the same as normal RBS, the app and online banking are certainly the same. It is technically under the RBS Private division so you may get that level of service? Some customers have been called by the branch but I haven’t myself.

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Very interesting, thanks! I’ll definitely bear this in mind if I ever open an account with RBS in the future (who would say no to a fancy debit card :smile:)

Out of interest, does the C & Co debit card support Apple/Google Pay? I’ve also heard rumours that because they issue their own unique card, it’s often slower to adopt new features (eg Apple/Google Pay) than the standard RBS issued debit cards.