Every quarter we survey British consumers on their brand awareness and preferences in the finance industry. We’re reliable like that. Q4, let’s do this.
To put together this quarter’s Finance Brand Index, we looked at three things:
- Percentage of unprompted brand recall within the finance category
- How likely a person is to purchase each brand (Purchase Intent)
- How likely a person is to recommend each brand (Net Promoter Score)
Key Changes in Brand Attributes
The UK is in a period of uncertainty. One minute we’re barrelling towards a recession, and the next we’re on track to avoid one. All of that inconsistency is changing the way we’re thinking about banking, savings, and spending money. Combine that with a surge of Fintech companies disrupting the industry, and you’ve got a landscape that’s subject to change.
As London overtakes New York for Fintech investment, are consumer’s minds with the challenger brands bringing a technological edge to consumer finance? Or are they still partial to the traditional banking experience? One thing’s for certain – in a time of financial uncertainty, positive sentiment is more valuable for finance brands than ever.
Each quarter we ask consumers to rank the top 10 finance brands they’ve named in eight category-specific attributes. Here are the main winners, losers and movers this quarter:
- Monzo has reappeared in the top 10 this quarter, after dropping in Q3. The disruptive Fintech brand has stormed onto the leaderboard, nabbing the top spot in four of the eight brand attributes. In Q4, people think they have the best online services, the best brand, and the best perks, and ranked them as the most innovative finance brand overall. In Q3, those titles went to Halifax, MoneySuperMarket, and Barclays respectively.
- Other newcomer MoneySavingExpert has also had a great quarter – they’ve achieved the highest weighted ranking in three of the eight attributes, with consumers thinking they’re the most reliable and most trustworthy brand. They also got the top spot for having the most flexible plans. On the flipside, they placed last for having well-located branches (perhaps to be expected, considering they’re an all-digital brand), and last for memorable branding.
- HSBC aren’t doing so well this quarter. After ranking neutrally across the board in Q3, they’ve claimed four last place rankings out of the eight brand attributes. They ranked lowest for online services, reliability, flexibility of plans, and perks.
- NatWest have also been awarded some low scores in Q4 – they’re now sitting in joint-last with MoneySavingExpert for location of branches, and are also ranked last for trustworthiness and innovation. They have managed to shirk their last place ranking for flexibility – they’ve handed that off to HSBC this quarter.
- Halifax have lost their first place ranking in online service to Monzo this quarter, but were rated top for the convenient locations of their branches, an honour that went to Nationwide last quarter. With that, Halifax, MoneySavingExpert, and Monzo are the only three brands to achieve a first place ranking in Q4.
- All areas of the leaderboard have had a bit of a shakeup in Q4, with only two brands holding their positions. Barclays reside comfortably in first place, with a slightly lower Unprompted Brand Recall score than usual, but a steadily climbing Total Brand Equity. The other non-mover is HSBC, which stands firm in seventh, despite an impressive leap in Unprompted Brand Recall this quarter.
- It’s quids in for NatWest – they’ve jumped from sixth in Q3 to second in Q4, thanks to a gain in Unprompted Brand Recall. Their NPS, on the other hand, has fallen from 44 to 19.4, so NatWest will need to work on improving positive sentiment around their brand to stay in the realms of the top three. Santander have also made a small climb this quarter, hopping up from fifth to fourth place and seeing improvements across all four key metrics.
- Four brands have seen a drop in Q4. Nationwide has fallen slightly from second to third – it had less Unprompted Brand Recall this quarter, which nudged NatWest ahead. Halifax has dropped from third to fifth, again due to lower Unprompted Brand Recall, and Lloyds went from fourth to sixth, losing traction on all four key metrics. RBS also dropped two places in Q4, from seventh to ninth – it saw a significant decline in Unprompted Brand Recall, of almost 4%.
- Two newcomers, Monzo and MoneySavingExpert, have joined the leaderboard in eighth and tenth respectively. Both have an admirable Purchase Intent score, but Monzo’s is the best on the board at 63.2% – and they’ve also secured the highest NPS this quarter (57.9). Big things are likely to be in store for these guys. The two newcomers have pushed TSB and MoneySuperMarket out of the top 10 entirely.
The Full Report
The report includes:
- How consumers manage their money, save, and invest in 2019
- How up-to-date consumers feel with the world of finance, and how they think about the economy
- How innovations in tech are changing the consumer finance landscape
- Key takeaways for the UK finance industry
The report is based on a nationally representative survey of 2000 people in the UK (aged 18+), surveyed in January 2019.
Brand Index Methodology
The Attest Brand Index is a platform agnostic measure of a brand’s total brand equity in the health and wellness sector, as determined by real consumers.
What does that mean?
When we say ‘Platform Agnostic’, we mean the results are not influenced by any particular method of collecting them, like looking exclusively at social media mentions or at brand search terms. This reduces bias and gives us a more accurate view of a brand’s strength in their category.
Brand Index data is gathered every quarter from a nationally representative survey to 1,000 UK consumers aged 18-65.