New action from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has made it mandatory for banks to publish information on how likely people would be to recommend their bank – as well as its online and mobile banking, branch and overdraft services – to friends, relatives or other businesses.

The move is all about making it easier for customers to search for the best bank for their needs and switch easily.

Currently only 3% of personal and 4% of business customers switch to a different bank. The rest could probably be getting a better service elsewhere.

For some, this is a welcome move – specifically, those towards the top of the list. And even those smaller, newer banks that aren’t yet on the list but champion customer service anyway.

For others, one word comes to mind: Ouch.

We’d hate to imagine the digital team meetings at RBS this month.

“Do we have to put that thing on our homepage?”

Compare that to the slightly more celebratory tone being taken by a bank at the top of the ladder:

On the positive side – this is the first survey of many. RBS, Clydesdale Bank and the rest of the stragglers will probably get a bit of a grace period from the public while they get their act together.

We were, however, a little worried by a quote from a Clydesdale Bank spokesman:

“We would like to have ranked higher in the CMA Service Quality Indicators survey results as our customers are at the heart of everything we do. We receive customer feedback daily through a number of channels, including online surveys, touch point feedback and in person, and we are continually working to enhance our customer service.”

Surely if the customer is truly at the heart of everything these banks do, they would have seen this coming a long time ago.

In a ‘2017 predictions’ piece almost two years ago (where’s the time gone?!) we wrote about the socially conscious banking customer. We even named RBS as one of those companies who needed to up their game.

And Which?’s list of the best and the worst banks for customer service has a similar look to the CMA’s ladder.

The truth is that these banks have had plenty of time to sort themselves out – they just haven’t.

Now that they have to wear the equivalent of a ‘kick me’ sticker right on their homepage, they might start to take some proper action.

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New CMA action means there’s nowhere to hide for banks