Santander's 123 customers are irked but won't go elsewhere

September 07, 2016, 8:48 AM GMT+0

The news that Santander has notified customers that they face a cut to their interest rates has caused something of a stir.

The Spanish bank is cutting the rate of interest on its popular 123 current account by half. Customers will receive 1.5% interest as opposed to the previous 3%.

This follows on from a previous rise in the monthly account fee, which has gone up from £2 to £5.

While Santander has justified the change, explaining that it had to reduce its rate due to 'the market expectation of interest rates staying lower for longer', others have described the move in more cynical terms.

YouGov's tracking data enables us to see what the impact of the news has been not just on the public generally, but among current Santander customers.

Among all respondents, Santander’s Impression score (whether you have a favourable impression of a brand) has dropped from +5 to -1 since the news was announced. YouGov's Buzz score measures whether a respondent has heard anything positive or negative about a brand in the past fortnight. In this case, Santander's score has dropped from +1 to -9.

YouGov's Satisfaction metric indicates that current Santander customers are more than a tad miffed by the news. Among this group the score has declined by more than 20 points (decreasing from +70 to +50) since the middle of August.

It is no surprise then, that Santander's Value score has also decreased among current customers by 18 points. In a similar vein, its Impression score among this group has also dropped from +48 to +34.

Of course, all of this does not mean customers will automatically abandon the bank. Indeed, Santander's Purchase Consideration score among all respondents has remained relatively untroubled by the news.

The offer was always regarded as one of the best on the high street, and customers may accept that it was not going to last forever – especially if they aren't attracted to a viable alternative.

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