“No calls, please, we’re British”

British banking customers are so averse to the idea of communication they’d rather their bank didn’t speak to them at all.

In a YouGov survey commissioned by Avaya, 60% of Brits said they preferred to go directly to their bank’s website or use automated services to solve issues. Online banking was also the most popular choice for everyday banking needs, with 33% of UK respondents indicating it as their preference.

Even in urgent situations – including fraud, overdrawn accounts or an expired credit card – 28% said they would prefer no contact at all.

Despite being opposed to hearing from their banks, UK customers indicated a relatively high level of satisfaction for the service they receive. 64% said they hadn’t had any issues when speaking to a call centre. A further 36% said they often visit their local branch.

The results seem to indicate that Brits just don’t like speaking to people over the phone. Despite this, Brits are keen to ensure that their problems are sorted straight away – 65% said they wanted the first point of contact at a bank to resolve any issues.

“Given the extensive investment UK banks have made in building omni-channel services for their customers, it’s no surprise that online and mobile have become widely preferred channels,” said Natalie Keightley, customer experience solutions marketing lead at Avaya.

“Contact centres have a crucial role to play when online customers encounter questions they can’t resolve – which is why shy Brits deserve contact centre handlers equipped with the technology and information necessary to respond effectively and quickly.”

Avaya, in association with YouGov, polled 2,345 UK bank customers from 14 to 21 June, 2017. The respondents were split at a ratio of 52:48 female to male. 60% were between the ages of 18 and 54, and 40% were older than 50.

Keep calm and borrow money

British credit cards saw the largest growth in money borrowed for 11 years in 2016. According to the Bank of England, the outstanding amount from credit cards hit £68.1 billion, an increase of 9.7%.

Almost two-thirds of Brits are security-conscious, believing that anything less than three-factor authentication is insufficient. According to research from Equifax, over a fifth of those asked have had their social media or bank accounts hacked. As a response to this, four-fifths changed their password. One-fifth, generally younger people, shut the account completely.

Customers’ main concerns are about having their bank details stolen, followed by their debit or credit card pin number, passport and driving’s license. Personal photographs weren’t a significant worry in case of theft.

Despite their worries over security, 61% underestimate the financial cost of fraud, valuing the impact at less than the £1 billion figure reported by KPMG.

The survey, conducted by YouGov, found 60% of the British population are concerned about personally experiencing fraud, yet 24% are unable to identify where to locate information to help protect themselves from this crime.

When looking for advice, 64% rely on their bank or credit card provider for tips on how to actively defend against fraudsters.

by Alex Hamilton
Alex is Senior Reporter at IBS Intelligence, follow him on Twitter or contact him at: alexanderh@ibsintelligence.com