March 27, 2013
Banking Industry in UK and Ireland Faces Growing Challenge to Re-engage Customers, According to Accenture Survey
As New Loyalty Challenges Emerge, the Opportunity to Re-engage Customers Could be in New Technologies
LONDON; March 27, 2013 – Accenture’s annual survey of more than 4,000 current account customers in the UK and Ireland showed declines in the depth and quality of interactions between customers and their banks, as new customer loyalty challenges emerge.

According to the survey, daily and weekly branch visits fell from 19 percent to 15 percent and daily and weekly online banking activity fell from 69 percent in 2010 to 61 percent in 2012. Meanwhile, inherently brief, more transactional banking activity rose significantly, with daily and weekly mobile banking more than doubling – from 7 percent in 2010 to 15 percent in 2012.  
“This year’s survey results underscored the banking industry’s central challenge to re-engage customers, as the ‘human element’ of the relationship diminishes,” said Peter Kirk, managing director of Accenture Distribution and Marketing Services in the UK and Ireland. “Banks’ success in rolling out efficient, user-friendly digital channels and its continuing consumer trust issues may be contributing to an increasingly arm’s-length relationship between institutions and their customers, which impacts their opportunities to sell and build loyalty.”
According to the survey, self-reported customer satisfaction and willingness to recommend banks has remained level, but loyalty declined, with the percentage of customers that had switched to another bank for new products increasing from 11 percent in 2010 to 15 percent in 2012. Product purchasing also fell off (from 19 percent in 2010 to 17 percent in 2012). The survey also showed:
  • Year-over-year declines in reported consumer trust in banks (40 percent in 2012 vs. 45 percent in 2011) and the view that their bank is fair and transparent (38 percent vs. 41 percent).
  • Worrying signs within the 18-to-24 year old demographic, where reported satisfaction levels fell from 61 percent to 49 percent, trust levels fell from 48 percent to 37 percent, and those that consider their bank fair and transparent declined from 41 percent to 31 percent in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
Kirk added: “Banks can do more to engage with their customers in ways that strengthen their relationships. We recommend three key steps they can take. They should focus on the customer experience, so that across channels, customers receive a fast, efficient service.  Given the increased competition in the marketplace, established banks must reward loyalty. And they must personalise how they engage with customers digitally, using big data and analytics to tailor a multi-channel experience. In a rapidly-changing environment, both on the high street and as technology continues to evolve, only those banks that take steps like these will thrive.”
Accenture helps financial institutions transform their customer relationships through Accenture Distribution and Marketing Services, a business service within Accenture’s Financial Services operating group, serving more than 100 institutions worldwide. Accenture Distribution and Marketing Services combines Accenture’s deep industry knowledge in banking, insurance and wealth management with proven expertise in marketing, distribution and innovation. It blends Accenture’s management consulting, technology and outsourcing capabilities – including its assets and expertise in digital innovations, like analytics and mobile – to help institutions improve growth and cost management through better customer relationships.
Accenture commissioned an online survey of 4,009 current account customers in Great Britain, Northern Ireland the Republic of Ireland completed in October 2012. Among the respondents, 2,920 were from England, 44 from Northern Ireland, 630 from the Republic of Ireland, 240 from Scotland and 175 from Wales. Accenture’s 2011 survey, also conducted online in October 2011, was of 3,873 current account customers in Great Britain, Northern Ireland the Republic of Ireland. Among the respondents, 2,537 were from England, 171 from Northern Ireland, 662 from the Republic of Ireland, 301 from Scotland and 202 from Wales. Accenture’s 2010 survey, also conducted online in October 2010, was of 2,524 current account customers in Great Britain, Northern Ireland the Republic of Ireland. Among the respondents, 1,806 were from England, 350 from Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland, 193 from Scotland and 175 from Wales.
About Accenture
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 259,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$27.9 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2012. Its home page is
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