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U.K. Consumers Open to Digital Banking as Trust Rises: Survey

A quarter of U.K. current account holders would consider using a digital-only bank, according to a survey by consultancy company Accenture Plc.

Customers aged 25 to 34 were the most receptive to the idea of a bank that was only accessible online, with no branches or call centers, according to the survey. While the poll found the use of mobile and Internet banking is increasing, more than half of respondents said they used a branch at least once a month. Fifty-two percent of people said their bank was trustworthy, up 9 percent on two years ago, when the survey was last conducted.

“This year’s survey underscores the growing complexity in how consumers want to interact with banks in the digital age,” said Peter Kirk, a managing director in Accenture’s Financial Services group. “Given all the investment and efforts made by banks, it is encouraging for them that customer perception is improving after falling sharply during the financial crisis.”

The survey of 3,604 customers, conducted in March, found 80 percent of respondents go online at least once a month to interact with their bank, while mobile banking usage has risen to 27 percent, from 21 percent in 2012. More than a third of respondents said they would consider banking with non-bank organizations, such as an online payment-provider or retailer.

The number of people who believed their bank is fair and transparent climbed to 51 percent from 41 percent.

The youngest group of bank customers –- those aged 18 to 24 –- are the least receptive to the idea of digital-only lenders, with 22 percent saying they would consider using one.

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