The best bank in the UK revealed for November 2020

Not all banks are born equal. Uncover the best banks in the UK for you plus smart ways to make the most of your money.

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Best bank in the UK 2020 by customer satisfaction

In July 2019, we ran a customer satisfaction survey on current accounts in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 1,000 people answered and told us how happy they are with their current account provider. Here’s the full list of providers we’ve considered and how many of their customers said they would recommend them to a friend. Learn more about the results and the winners.

Customers recommend Current account Review
88% Monzo Monzo is by far the most popular digital-only bank in the UK – apparently for a good reason. New features are constantly being added to its app-based current account, that comes with a bright “coral” (pinkish) debit card. Read our review
87% Starling Starling’s mobile-only current account is easy to open and manage and the app is packed with features. Starling’s customers expressed the highest levels of satisfaction, only rivalled by Monzo’s. Visit Starling
87% Revolut Revolut’s multicurrency digital account is great for travelling and even better for sending money abroad. You can exchange and hold 29 different currencies for free and also use it as a standard UK account. Read our review
84% Nationwide The last building society that does banking on a national level, Nationwide offers a good range of current accounts that come with great incentives and perks, from a switching bonus to interest paid on your balance to insurance options. Read our review
83% Lloyds Bank Another big bank that got a solid score in our survey. Lloyds’s bank accounts suit a wide range of needs, the banking app is not too bad for a traditional bank and there’s also the opportunity to earn interest on your balance. Read our review
83% N26 Still fairly new to the UK market, German challenger N26 offers a pretty straightforward mobile-only current account with a slick app. It’s also working on bringing its most advanced features, such as overdrafts, to the UK. Read our review
81% Santander Santander comes with all the advantages of a big bank and offers a wide range of current accounts. Among its top-selling points is the option of earning cashback on your bills. Read our review
79% First Direct Known for providing great customer service on the phone 24/7, First Direct only offers one current account option, but it’s a very solid one. And there’s also a switching incentive to make it more appealing. Read our review
78% Barclays Barclay’s current accounts aren’t half bad. They come with the option of earning rewards at selected retailers. Plus, it’s Barclays – for people who like sticking with the big brands, it doesn’t get much better than that. Read our review
78% HSBC HSBC also offers a great switching incentive, a good range of current accounts and all the benefits of a big bank, including 24/7 support and access to a regular savings account with a top rate. Read our review
77% Metro Bank One of the few challenger banks that also has a good network of branches, Metro Bank offers only offers one current account, whose top feature is that it doesn’t charge you for using the card or withdrawing cash in Europe. Read our review
73% Monese Another straightforward digital-only account that’s especially good for travellers or people who often have to change country, Monese lets you open a euro account side by side with your UK one, for free. Read our review
73% TSB TSB’s current accounts are solid and it’s one of the few remaining banks offering an interest rate on its standard current account. Plus, you only need to pay in £500 a month to qualify for it. Read our review
71% NatWest NatWest has one of the top switching incentive on the market, and you can choose between free and rewards accounts. If that sounds appealing but you’re still unsure, you’ll be glad to hear that it also got a decent score in our survey. Read our review
69% Halifax The most notable features of Halifax’s current accounts are a few good reward and insurance options, plus a fee-free overdraft option when you join. Read our review
63% Bank of Scotland Bank of Scotland doesn’t feature a huge range of accounts nor are they particularly exciting, but there’s a very solid package account option available that comes with loads of insurance benefits. Read our review
60% RBS Royal Bank of Scotland is Natwest’s Scottish little sister. Just like its sibling, it also offers a competitive switching incentive and a very solid selection of rewards accounts featuring cashback on your bills. Read our review

So, are these the best current accounts available on the market?

Well, yes and no. These are the current accounts its customers are most satisfied with. Our customer satisfaction survey asked account holders whether they would recommend their account to a friend and how they would rate it from one to five.

So, a good result on the survey does mean that many people think a certain account provider does a good job. What it does not mean is that that same account provider is good for everyone.

For example, challenger banks Monzo and Starling top the survey, but if you like going to a branch and discussing your banking options in person, or having loads of different current accounts to choose among, you’ll be disappointed. It’s all about figuring out your banking style and ultimately choosing the account that’s best for you, not for anyone.

Learn more about our customer satisfaction survey

Compare banks

Table: sorted by switching bonus
Data indicated here is updated daily
Name Product Ratings Interest (AER) Arranged overdraft Key benefits Link Representative example
We say
★★★★★
You say
★★★★★
0%
15% EAR variable
Award-winning current account, apply in minutes
Go to site
Current account switch service guarantee badge
No fees for spending or withdrawing cash overseas - currencies are converted at Mastercard’s standard exchange rate
Representative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you'll be charged interest at 15% EAR variable.
We say
★★★★★
You say
★★★★★
0%
39.94% EAR variable
Interest and fee free overdraft
for first four months when you switch
Go to site
Current account switch service guarantee badge
Up to 15% cashback at a range of major retailers
Representative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you'll be charged interest at 39.94% EAR variable.
We say
★★★★★
0%
N/A
Guaranteed acceptance plus a credit building feature
Go to site
Account fee of £5.95 per month.
We say
★★★★★
0%
N/A
Guaranteed acceptance
Go to site
Current account switch service guarantee badge
Earn cashback on your purchases when you shop through the ThinkMoney rewards portal
Account fee of £10 per month or £15 per month.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Table: sorted by interest rate, promoted deals first
Data indicated here is updated daily
Name Product Account type Withdrawals Min. opening balance Interest rate Apply link
Royal Bank of Scotland – Digital Regular Saver
Royal Bank of Scotland
Regular saver
Withdrawals not permitted
£0
3.04% AER variable
NatWest – Digital Regular Saver
NatWest
Regular saver
Withdrawals not permitted
£0
3.04% AER variable
Lloyds Bank – Club Lloyds Monthly Saver
Lloyds Bank
Regular saver
Withdrawals not permitted
£25
1.5% AER fixed for 1 year
Ikano Bank – Fixed 5 Year Saver
Ikano Bank
Fixed-rate bond
Withdrawals not permitted
£1,000
1.41% AER fixed for 5 years
Ikano Bank – Fixed 5 Year Saver
Ikano Bank
Fixed-rate bond
Withdrawals not permitted
£1,000
1.41% AER fixed for 5 years
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Compare up to 4 providers

Table: sorted by interest rate, promoted deals first
Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Interest rate Fee Overdraft
Tide
0%
No
Amaiz
0%
Free Starter plan available
No
Cashplus business
0%
Yes
ANNA
0%
Free up to a max. balance of £5,000 (or up to £500 paid in per month)
No
Soldo
0%
Per card
No
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Compare up to 4 providers

Which bank account should I choose?

Before you answer this question, you should ask “what do I need from my bank account?”

  • Are you looking to withdraw money regularly using a debit card and taking out cash at a cash machine or paying wirelessly? If so, you want a current account.
  • Are you looking to save a bit of money each month but want to have access to it at any time? You may want an easy access savings account.
  • Do you want to put some money away and restrict access to it? Try a fixed-rate savings account.
  • Are you after rewards or hoping to maximise interest? You may want a current account with rewards or a packaged bank account.
  • Are you a student and you want to open up your first bank account and get access to rewards? If so you may want a dedicated student account.
  • Are you running a business and want to handle transactions separately from your personal account? Try a business bank account.
  • Do you have a child and would like to open an account for them? Take a look at bank accounts for children.

Work out what you need before comparing the options.

4 key bank account features to compare

Sifting through small print can take forever. For those of you with better things to do, finder.com/uk have put together tables, lists and guides which allow you to make the right decision quickly. Here are a few of the main things to look out for when comparing bank accounts:

1. Interest rates

  • This one is important. Getting the highest interest rate will mean your money will work harder for you.

2. Small fees (preferably none)

  • Most banks nowadays don’t charge a monthly fee for maintaining accounts. But you should check. If you’re currently paying a monthly fee, then you need to assess whether the account is worth it.
  • This also applies to penalty fees. If you think you’re likely to end up in your overdraft, then pick an account which will allow that. Don’t end up stuck in account which penalises you every time you dip into the overdraft.

3. Access to your cash

  • This depends on your preferences and personal savings goals. While many savings account allow you almost instant access, some require that you plan ahead and give advance notice of withdrawals.

4. Rewards

  • Some accounts offer rewards and benefits in the form of shopping vouchers, exclusive rates or products. If this sounds up your street then take a look at the accounts which offer these sort of extras.

Who are the ‘big four’ banks in the UK?

Barclays

Barclays is a multinational banking and financial services based in London. It is a universal bank with operations in retail, wholesale and investment banking – as well as wealth management, mortgage lending and credit cards. Barclays has operations in more than 50 countries and territories with around 48 million customers.

HSBC

HSBC is another multinational banking and financial services company also headquartered in London. It is the world’s sixth largest bank by total assets and the largest in Europe.

Lloyds Banking Group

Lloyds Bank is a retail and commercial bank with branches across England and Wales. The bank was founded in Birmingham in 1765. It expanded during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and took over a number of smaller banking companies.

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), is one of the retail banking subsidiaries of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc, together with NatWest and Ulster Bank. The Royal Bank of Scotland has around 700 branches, mainly in Scotland though there are branches in many larger towns and cities throughout England and Wales.

Best bank in the UK 2020: A summary

The results come from a customer satisfaction survey we carried out on a number of banks in the UK.

UK Bank Rank Customers recommend
Monzo 1 88%
Starling 2= 87%
Revolut 2= 87%
Nationwide 3 84%
Lloyds Bank 4= 83%
N26 4= 83%
Santander 5 81%
First Direct 6 79%
Barclays 7= 78%
HSBC 7= 78%
Metro Bank 8 77%
Monese 9 73%
TSB 10 73%
Natwest 11 71%
Halifax 12 69%
Bank of Scotland 13 63%
RBS 14 60%

Best bank in the UK by service quality 2020

Below we have listed the results of the Personal banking service quality survey that took place in Great Britain. These results are from an independent survey carried out between July 2019 and June 2020 by Ipsos MORI as part of a regulatory requirement.

Ranking Bank Score
1 Monzo 86%
2 Starling Bank 84%
3 first direct 83%
4 Metro Bank 81%
5 Nationwide 71%
=6 Barclays 62%
=6 Halifax 62%
8 Santander 61%
=9 Lloyds Bank 60%
=9 Virgin Money 60%
11 HSBC UK 59%
=12 Natwest 58%
=12 Bank of Scotland 58%
14 The Cooperative Bank 57%
15 Yorkshire Bank 56%
=16 TSB 51%
=16 Citi Clydesdale Bank 51%
18 Royal Bank of Scotland 46%
19 TESCO Bank 44%
Ranking Bank Score
1 Monzo 89
2 Starling Bank 88%
3 Metro Bank 85%
4 first direct 83%
=5 Nationwide 81%
=5 Barclays 81%
=5 Halifax 81%
8 Lloyds Bank 78%
9 Bank of Scotland 77%
10 Santander 76%
=11 natwest 75%
=11 Virgin Money 75%
13 HSBC UK 72%
=14 Yorkshire Bank 71%
=14 Royal Bank of Scotland 71%
16 The co-operative Bank 67%
17 Citi Clydesdale Bank 66%
18 TSB 65%
19 Tesco Bank 59%
Ranking Bank Score
1 Starling Bank 74%
2 first direct 73%
3 Metro Bank 71%
4 Monzo 69%
5 Halifax 62%
6 Nationwide 59%
=7 Barclays 58%
=7 HSBC UK 58%
=7 Virgin Money 58%
=10 Bank of Scotland 57%
=10 TSB 57%
12 The co-operative Bank 56%
=13 Lloyds Bank 55%
=13 Santander 55%
15 Natwest 53%
16 Yorkshire Bank 52%
17 Royal Bank of Scotland 51%
18 Citi Clydesdale Bank 50%
Ranking Bank Score
1 Metro Bank 84%
2 Nationwide 77%
3 Virgin Money 74%
=4 Halifax 69%
=4 Lloyds Bank 69%
=6 Santander 67%
=6 Bank of Scotland 67%
=8 Yorkshire Bank 65%
=8 HSBC UK 65%
=8 Barclays 65%
=8 TSB 65%
12 Natwest 64%
13 Citi Clydesdale Bank 63%
14 The co-operative Bank 57%
15 Royal Bank of Scotland 50%
Source: Ipsos

Best Bank in the UK by account type

Best for Bank Account
Best for low credit scores NatWest Foundation account
Best for cashback Santander Santander 123 Lite
Best for packaged accounts Nationwide Flex Plus
Best for switch incentives HSBC Advance
Best for students Santander Student account
Best for kids gohenry Prepaid card and app

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

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