Better customer service is offered by building societies rather than mutual lenders according to the Building Societies Association.
GFK NOP, which is an independent research company, carried out the research on behalf of the BSA and found that 69% of customers were happy with customer service provided by building societies while other lenders scored only 57%.
For building society customers having current accounts 77% of were satisfied compared with 64% from other account providers and for savings accounts 56% were happy compared to 46%.
It was discovered that customer satisfaction was around 10 percentage points higher for building societies on mortgage, savings and current accounts compared to other lenders.
The survey also said that the main reason for users being more satisfied with building societies was that they trusted them to “look after their interests”. 50% of building society customers thought this compared with 34% who were with banks.
The BSA concluded that because mutuals are owned by their customers and not external shareholders members of staff at building societies and other mutuals interact with their customers better.
Although mutuals have not been immune to the effects of the financial crisis they did not cause it. Their businesses tend to be low risk and have not had to rely on government support anywhere near to the extent that the banking sector did.