Do Customers really see the benefits of a Fairbanking Mark?

The Fairbanking Foundation works with financial organisations to encourage development of products and processes that they believe can enhance the financial well-being of customers in the UK. It is apparent that they are encouraging competition within the sector as well as the necessity for institutions to develop a more customer-centric culture. At Ipsos MORI, we can see that customers have started to notice the impact of this within the sector with one customer even mentioning that, “Fairbanking have teamed up to make the bank have a more human face, and responsible air.” But what has the impact been on the individual holders of a product with a Fairbanking mark?

Each Fairbanking product specification has a number of features that the Foundation believes should be integrated into an organisation’s products in order to improve the well-being of customers who hold them. As part of the assessment process for Fairbanking Marks for an organisation’s product set, we at Ipsos MORI conduct research with its customers and we have found that holding a product, which has all the required features for a 5-star mark, leads to feelings of motivation and re-enforced positive financial behaviour. Taking a Savings account product with a 5* Fairbanking Mark as an example, customers of this mentioned that holding the product, “…reminds us to take responsibility and to defer immediate gratification.” And, “It instils a discipline that has already helped at the right times.”

A key Fairbanking Savings account specification feature is for organisations to communicate with customers using messages of encouragement. Our research with customers holding a 5* savings product found that when this occurred, it led to positive outcomes for both the customer and the financial organisation, with one customer commenting that it was, “Excellent that the banks are encouraging savings.” 58% of those customers who had received a message to encourage them to restart saving took a positive action as a result, with a quarter saying that they had started to save again. Another feature promoted by Fairbanking, in order to motivate savings behaviour, is the provision of customer feedback via messages that congratulate savers on completing a goal. 8 in 10 customers who received this type of message went on to set up a new savings goal, which is a great benefit to the customer’s financial well-being.

Such clear positive behaviour change displayed by customers shows that, by adopting the Fairbanking Marks and delivering on the Fairbanking specifications, the organisation is able to truly deliver products which are proven to really benefit the everyday customer. One customer praised the banks for adopting these approaches, saying “It is good to see a social and responsible element in the sector”. Not only are customers being exposed to innovative products that are helping them manage their finances, the financial organisations are reaping the benefits by creating stronger emotional relationships with customers. We know that customers who perceive financial organisations as more than just providers of a functional service are more likely to remain loyal and consider the organisation for future products and services which is a great outcome for both customers and providers.

Rachel O’Shaughnessy

Associate Director of Ipsos MORI Loyalty

Exploring what impact a Fairbanking Mark has on its customers. Ipsos MORI, an independent market research company, is an approved research partner of The Fairbanking Foundation. As part of the Fairbanking Mark certification process, using a consistent approach and methodology, Ipsos MORI conducted surveys with a sample of customers in order to assess the relative impact of holding a product.