UK bank customers could defect to Google and Apple in future, research finds

UK bank customers could defect from traditional banks to new rivals such as Google and Apple in future, research from brand consultancy Clear has found.

Based on a study of 6,000 UK consumers, it was found that only 13% of consumers said they’d love to use the UK’s big four high street banks in future – which Clear suggests could mean that companies such as Google could sweep in.

According to Clear’s Brand Desire Study 2012, the most desirable bank - First Direct – ranked at 188 on the list, four places below Aldi. Paypal ranked at 21.

James Osmond, Clear’s CEO, said: “We are at the start of a revolution in how people interact with money. Banks that fail to lead the agenda will struggle to survive. Having a mobile app and a digital guru isn’t enough – it’s about reinventing the experience of how people manage their money. The choice is simple: change now, or get left behind.

“Traditional banks resemble computer brands 20 years ago before Apple revolutionised the PC market. The big financial services brand of tomorrow is just as likely to be Google or Apple as HSBC or AmEx.

“Google Wallet, the smart virtual wallet for in-store and online shopping, was a warning shot to banks. They need to act now if they want to retain their customers over the next 10 years. If they fail to make banking sexy, fun and imaginative then the door is wide open for a new competitor to step in.”