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High street banks slammed by consumer group

Current accounts from the big high street banks, Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds TSB and NatWest, have been criticised in a study by consumer group Which? The study alleged that both borrowers and savers with the 'Big Four' are getting a bad deal, with poor interest rates and customer service that is below the standard of some smaller competitors. Martyn Hocking, editor of Which? Money, said: "Some of the biggest banks on the high street get poor ratings while new providers get great reviews. "If you're still with one of the big four high street banks, now's the time to move. "Internet and telephone banks seem to treat their customers better and you can get much higher interest too."Smile, the Internet bank owned by the Co- op, was the best performer for customer satisfaction. Nationwide's Flex Account and Alliance & Leicester's Premier Direct accounts were also praised. The survey found that the big banks still have the bulk of customers (61 per cent) even though they did not offer the best service or value for money. Which? encouraged customers to change their account if they did not feel they were getting the best deal, saying that the process was easy and not to be feared.

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