UserTesting Report Reveals More Than One-third of UK Customers Suffer ‘Poor’ Banking Experiences

More than a third of traditional bank customers and 30% of fintech customers rate their most recent experience as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’, according to new research from UserTesting, a leader in video-based human insight.

A study of 3,820 individuals revealed that there was much room for improvement in the sector’s current approach to customer experience, with the biggest proportion of respondents (30%) saying their respective bank was doing ‘OK’, while only 12% of customers felt like their bank did an ‘excellent’ job in anticipating their needs.

The research was carried out as part of UserTesting’s UK Banking Empathy Experience Index Report, which provides a benchmark on how well businesses in the sector are doing in factoring empathy-driven experiences into their offering. The report ranked the biggest names in British banking on how well they deliver empathy-driven experiences, with Nationwide coming top of the leaderboard as the only traditional bank to score above the industry average of 57.2, with a score of 61.20. This was closely followed by fintechs including Monzo (59.89) and HSBC’s fintech-style brand, First Direct Bank (59.01).

Landon Barnes, Principal, Customer Experience (CX) Strategy Consulting at UserTesting, said: “Across the board, we saw that the UK’s traditional banks and fintechs scored below 65, which we would categorise as just ‘Okay’. This score demonstrates that the industry needs to make huge strides, and companies need to rethink how they deliver empathy-driven customer experiences.”

Barnes added: “Traditional banks are now competing with each other, as well as emerging fintechs, all while needing to adapt to provide better digital experiences. Building empathy-driven experiences could be key to loyalty in a space where sign-up offers regularly entice consumers to switch providers.”

The report also found that fintechs are better at eliciting positive emotions such as surprise, anticipation, and joy, with seven percentage points more fintech customers reporting they felt significant trust during their most recent interaction than traditional bank customers.

Despite this finding, fintech customers appear more fickle, as they were more likely (22%) to consider switching providers in the next 12 months, compared to only 18% of traditional bank customers. However, customers who felt negative emotions during their most recent interaction were 13% more likely to switch than those who had experienced positive emotions.

Anthony Rogalski, Manager of Solutions Consulting at UserTesting, said: “Empathy-driven experiences aren’t a gimmick — they’re increasingly an expectation of customers across all sectors. From retail to professional services, customers are looking for personalised, positive experiences, even on digital platforms. The businesses that are able to offer this are going to see the benefit reflected in their customer loyalty, while those who don’t risk being left behind.”

Find out how different banks rank in the full report here. To hear more about the report from its authors Anthony Rogalski and Landon Barnes, register to attend the UK Banking Empathy Experience Index Report webinar on February 16th, 2022.


The UK Banking and Fintech Empathy Experience Index (EXi) survey was launched to 3,820 individuals in the UK. Individuals needed to have a personal current or savings account with the bank. The brands that were scored on the EXi included Barclays (N = 302), Lloyds Banking Group (N = 301), NatWest (N = 300), HSBC (N = 304), Santander (N = 300), Nationwide (N = 300), Monzo (N = 300), Revolut (N = 300), First Direct Bank (N = 306), and Starling Bank (N = 302). The survey was in the field from July 8, 2021 through July 27, 2021. Additionally, each brand was run through the UserTesting Human Insight Platform for a sample of N = 20 to gain qualitative insights.

About UserTesting

UserTesting (NYSE: USER) has fundamentally changed the way organizations get insights from customers with fast opt-in feedback and experience capture technology. The UserTesting Human Insight Platform, taps into our global network of real people and generates video-based Customer Experience Narratives (CXNs), so anyone in an organization can directly ask questions, hear what users say, see what they mean, and understand what it’s actually like to be a customer. Unlike approaches that track user behavior then try to infer what that behavior means, UserTesting eliminates the guesswork and brings customer experience data to life with human insight. UserTesting has more than 2,100 customers, including more than half of the world’s top 100 most valuable brands according to Forbes. UserTesting is headquartered in San Francisco, Calif.

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