Which traditional bank would you use if mobile-first banks didn't exist?


Just for fun/nightmares…

Which bank or building society would you use as your main bank if the mobile-first banks (i.e. Monzo, Starling, N26) and bank-like fintechs (Revolut, Dozens, etc) suddenly disappeared?

Your choice might not be the bank you think is the best. It might just be for convenience reasons.

List based on CMA banking service quality survey, with an “other” option at the end.

  • Bank of Scotland
  • Barclays
  • Coventry Building Society
  • Clydesdale Bank
  • First Direct
  • Halifax
  • HSBC
  • Lloyds
  • Metro Bank
  • Nationwide
  • Natwest
  • Santander
  • Yorkshire Bank
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • The Co-operative Bank
  • TSB
  • Other

0 voters

(Marcel Ruhf) #2

I’d say 1) Barclays and 2) Lloyds/Halifax, purely because these are, in my view, the two that are the most technically advanced (when it comes to traditional banks).


Yes, even though I’ve never used Barclays I think I’d give it a try as my main bank as I get the impression it is regarded as having one of the best apps among the traditional banks.

Using Monzo has made be me realize what I value most in a bank is a good app (after it has crossed necessary thresholds in keeping money safe).

(Rachel Raybould) #4

Where I live the only bank you can talk to someone and/or doing anything is Metro.
Moving our scouting accounts there as I can’t stand waiting in an hour queue to do anything.

(Toby Toller) #5

Also Barclays as they seem to have been the quickest to copy features in their app!

I also bought 1 share in Barclays through Freetrade - as it was super cheap :upside_down_face:


Currently with NatWest for their 2% DD rewards account. Lloyds and Nationwide were meh was with both a decade, I was barely with HSBC truly the worst. First Direct was okish.

Id say Barclays will be my next switch again for my legacy when they next have a decent switch incentive and Blue Rewards deal back on, not worth the credit report impact to change atm.

Hands up who voted Santander / Clydesdale / TSB ? :raising_hand_man:


I’m surprised to see First Direct so high up. Sure their customer service is good but the app is incredibly basic. Was a nightmare every time you changed your phone and forgot to deactivate your old one. So you needed to ring up and reset your “secure key” :roll_eyes: so you could do anything in app.

Not to mention when you bought anything it doesn’t show as a pending transaction and would take days for it to appear. Only direct debits would appear the day before.

Plus you can’t even get a bank statement in the app.

Looks nice but incredibly limited.


Handelsbanken. In most ways the complete antithesis of the Monzos of their this world, but quick, efficient, friendly, and their service is second to none.


I didn’t vote Santander, but I might have done if I were limiting my options to the 4 traditional banks & building socs I have already used. In this case it would be between Santander and Nationwide for me. I personally prefer Santander’s app and they pay decent cashback on bill payments. Credit card options are as good as, if not better than Nationwide.


First Direct for me (my wife and I have a joint account with them solely for paying bills). Our experience with them has been excellent, especially when it comes to dealing with customer services.

I’ve previously banked with RBS and Santander, both of whom were awful, especially Santander.

(Ravi) #11

I use Monzo as my hub account and quite like it. But I’d give up Monzo way before I gave up my Santander 123 and NatWest Reward accounts.

It might be nice to use, but my “legacy” accounts actually benefit me financially while being Monzo only would actually leave me out of pocket with things like cash deposits and no interest.


I know one thing, after the IT debacle, I would never again have a TSB account. I’m not afraid to admit, I did make some ‘free’ money out of them when I switched to them from M&S Bank, plus I earned in credit interest etc, but that whole legacy bank IT swap thing just broke any confidence I had in them.

I did once have Santander savings account back in 2009, but that was only because my Alliance and Leicester account was taken over by Santander. I made a considerable amount of interest profit and closed my account.

I’m of the opinion now, that unless the legacy banks can actually pull their fingers out and provide a truly worthwhile mobile banking only experience such as Monzo or in my case, Starling, then I won’t be darkening their doors again. I just don’t need to use shop front branches any more, indeed I haven’t used a shop front bank branch for 4 or 5 years, possibly longer, so it’s no surprise that customer footfall overall has decreased significantly and branch closures are common place. I have my Nationwide account and I run it entirely online and as a legacy type banking account, they aint too bad at all, they certainly won’t be losing me as a customer.