Study shows backing for 'digital bank'

One in four current account holders in the UK would consider using a purely digital bank with no branches or call centres, according to research.

People aged between 25 and 34 are the most keen on going digital-only, with one third (33%) of people in this age group saying they would consider having a current account that is only accessible via the internet, Accenture found.

The survey of more than 3,600 UK current account holders found that 80% of consumers went online at least once a month to interact with their banks, while 27% now use mobile banking each month.

But the survey also points to a rise in customers using branches. The number of customers going into a branch at least once a month has risen from 45% in 2012 to 52% this year, with the most pronounced increase among customers aged 18 to 24.

54% of the youngest group said they visit their bank branch each month compared to 39% of the same group in 2012.

“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.

“There is also evidence that some customers are not satisfied by their banks’ current digital offerings.

“This presents difficult questions for banks as they look to balance digital channels with costly branch networks and deliver relevant services.”

The survey also found that levels of trust in banks has increased “significantly”, with more than half (52%) of people now rating their bank as trustworthy, compared with 43% in 2012.

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