Banks letting homeowners down during pandemic, study finds

UK homeowners have been let down by their bank’s handling of COVID-19, according to new research by Butterfield Mortgages Limited (BML).

The prime property mortgage provider revealed that 19% of homeowners have lost faith in their bank due to poor support provided during the coronavirus crisis. BML revealed this figure rises to 50% among those who have a bought a property in 2020.

The research – based on survey of 1,262 UK homeowners, of which more than 200 have bought a property in 2020 – suggested that a quarter (25%) of current homeowners feel their banks have not been proactive in providing advice to help them manage their finances during the pandemic. A similar number (23%) indicated that they plan to transfer some or all of their money to another bank or financial services firm in the coming 12 months.
Another 31% of banking customers suggested they are frustrated by their bank’s reliance on chatbots and automated services, while the BML study also found that a further 36% of homeowners are worried their local bank branch could shut in the coming months.
“Homeowners across the UK are clearly frustrated by the way they have been treated by their banks during the pandemic, and this has led to a confidence crisis,” commented BML CEO, Alpa Bhakta.
“There’s no denying that COVID-19 has posed some significant challenges for banks, large and small. Nonetheless, today’s research shows that some firms have struggled when it comes to delivering the same level of customer service experienced before the pandemic.
“During these difficult times, banks cannot overlook the importance of delivering the same high standard of professional services. If they fail to adapt their services to cater for the ‘new normal’, there is a risk they could lose customers to rival firms.”

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