Coronavirus: 'Six in 10 UK bank customers' prefer to renegotiate financial products

Abigail Fenton
·Writer
·2-min read
19% claimed they are “stuck” with financial accounts or products that are no longer suitable for their personal circumstances. Photo: Getty
19% claimed they are “stuck” with financial accounts or products that are no longer suitable for their personal circumstances. Photo: Getty

The majority of Brits want more flexibility from their banks and greater control over their financial products – especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, when people’s financial situations may “suddenly shift,” according to a survey.

Nearly six in 10 ( 58%) of banking customers believe they should have more power to renegotiate or change their financial accounts and products, a survey of over 2,000 UK adults by tech company Yobota found.

A third of consumers are frustrated by having to choose between “generic” off-the-shelf financial products. This figure rises to over four in five (43%) in 18 to 34-year-olds.

Almost a fifth (19%) claimed they are “stuck” with financial accounts or products that are no longer suitable for their personal circumstances.

More than a quarter (26%) people with a personal loan said the product is no longer a good a fit for them compared with when they took it, while 18% of mortgage customers and 14% of people with life insurance said the same.

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Half (49%) of UK adults would like their bank to offer more flexible products that evolve according to customers’ changing needs, with 52% saying COVID-19 has exposed the need for “more responsive” banking products for when people’s financial situations suddenly shift.

The research also found three in 10 people feel banks make it too difficult – or impossible – to get out of financial products.

A third (34%) also criticised how complicated and time-consuming it still is to open a new account or secure a financial product.

However, 62% of consumers admitted technology has made it easier over the past five years to change between different banks, accounts and products.

Meanwhile, 57% of Brits said they now prefer to manage their financial affairs via digital banking, rather than in-person or over the phone.

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“Consumers, particularly Gen-Z and latter-day millennials, are increasingly demanding more agile, responsive and personalised banking services,” said Yobota CEO Ammar Akhtar.

“[This] research illustrates that people are increasingly unlikely to tolerate being left with generic financial products in the long-term – and banks must take note of this.

“It is a trend that has been accelerated by COVID-19 and the financial disruption it has caused. Now more than ever, banks must embrace tech to deliver more sophisticated, adaptable products.

He added: “Thankfully, many already are – but those who don’t respond quickly will risk losing customers to those who have.”

Watch: Should You Switch to Online Banking?