Performance of European retail banks : Publication of D-Rating 2020 and 2021 perspectives

Updated: Apr 27

On 16 March 2021, digital performance rating agency D-Rating presented the results of its 2020 rating campaign at an online conference attended by more than 270 professionals. Adding to the Euro-58 panel[1] some French, Belgian and Spanish brands whose ratings are linked to D-Rating's history, 70 banks from 15 European countries were fully rated in 2020, including, HVB, Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank in Germany, and HSBC, Natwest, Barclays, Santander UK and Lloyds Bank in the United Kingdom.

The grades are divided into 6 levels, including A- which Boursorama Banque in France is the first to achieve. Conversely, Banco BPM in Italy achieves the lowest rating of the panel (BB-). Compared to the 2017 campaign, the average rating of French banks, which were the only ones concerned at the time, has risen by two levels (from BB+ to BBB).

In a context of accelerating digitalization of usages, the ability of banks to ensure full continuity of service in digital (access to a large portfolio of products and services, availability and reliability of contact channels, etc.) appears to be a factor in stimulating revenue generation (measured by the increase in Net Banking Income).

The conference also highlighted levers that should be prerequisites:

· Ability to gain new customers? A smooth and fully paperless account opening process... But the tests carried out by D-Rating highlighted recurring bugs for 4% of the banks studied.


· Customer loyalty? Reactivity and relevance of the contact channels made available to build customer loyalty... But less than one in two emails is answered within 24 hours, and almost a quarter of customer questions are not answered in a relevant way.


· Access to expertise? Moving towards full digital banking also means providing customers with a level of experience and expertise equivalent to that which they would have in branches... But videoconference is only possible in one case out of ten.


· Phygital reputation? An analysis of customer satisfaction ratings for nearly 20,000 European agencies shows major differences between agencies, networks and geographical areas. Major progress is needed in the management of e-reputation, particularly in France, Spain and the Nordic countries.

· And, in the long term, the ability to attract digital talent and integrate the most efficient technologies. Traditional retailers are held back by their legacy and are struggling to join the neo-banks at this stage. Connecting recruitment channels with the most popular 'marketplaces' such as Linkedin is still a very uneven reality. And five of the banks surveyed have recurring bugs in their digital application journey that make them de facto impossible to use and potentially repellent to digital talent.


Specific observation on German Banks


The functionalities (app + web) are rather numerous, especially for Commerzbank.

Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank have rather good mobile app satisfaction scores compared to all the banks studied.

Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank are slightly behind European average on Customer Journeys. On account opening, the 2 banks have a relatively low level of digitalisation.

Even if Customer Journey score is quite average for HVB, D-Rating testers have encountered some bugs (not blocking) with HVB account opening.

Both Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank have a weak product offering accessible via digital channels.

On the performance of digital contact channels, German banks are globally lower than average with extremely low scores for Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank : availability and reactivity are involved.


Specific observation on UK Banks


UK banks are quite good on contact channels, especially Natwest and Lloyds Bank.

Lloyds Bank has best score in the European panel on contact channels in personal space.

Natwest, Lloys Bank and Santander UK are quite good at account opening journeys.

HSBC has lower performance with a long time spent in opening the account and some (non-blocking) bugs.

Barclays has an average score on account opening but is quite low on digital appointment scheduling journeys.

As far as applications are concerned, Barclays is pretty strong on features and Santander UK on access to offering when HSBC is fairly weak on both topics.

As a result, HSBC's mobile application satisfaction score is below the European average, while Santander UK, Natwest, Barclays and especially Lloyds Bank score well in this area.


Specific observation on Spanish Banks

In the 2020 rating campaign, the Spanish banks that stand out from the European panel are the following.


Well positioned:

BBVA, which performs well on mobile application usage, customer journeys, range of features and offers available on digital channels, innovation and talent attraction.

Bankia, which also performs well on mobile usage, customer journeys and contact channels (where BBVA has one of the lowest scores of the panel).

ING Spain with a good performance on all the scope of Transformation Dynamics, features and access to offers as well as on web usage (but is rather weak on mobile application usage).


Weakly positioned:

Ibercaja stands out with low scores on web usage, customer journeys, contact channels, features and access to offers and all elements related to Transformation Dynamics.

To a lesser extent, Banco Sabadell with low scores on customer journeys and operational integration.


Specific observation on Italian Banks

In the 2020 rating campaign, the Italian banks that stand out from the European panel are the following.

Well positioned:

It is mainly Fineco Bank that stands out positively with good scores on customer journeys and usage of both web and mobile app.


Weakly positioned :

Banco BPM, which has low scores in all areas assessed by D-Rating.

UBI Banca which has low scores on social networks, the range of features and offers accessible via digital channels, operational integration and talent attraction (where overall Italian banks are rather weak compared to the European panel evaluated). On the other hand, UBI Banca has a rather high score on contact channels.


Players such as Intesa Sanpaolo, Unicredit, Che Banca! are globally averagely positioned within the European panel.


This annual presentation is aimed at European banks, financial authorities, financial analysts and investors, and industry journalists…


D-Rating contacts: Philippe Bailly (Philippe.bailly@d-rating.com) or Sylvain Deniau (sylvain.deniau@d-rating.com)

Press contact: Bernard Sirven (bsirven@capitchi.com)


About D-Rating

Founded in early 2017, D Rating is the first agency to rate the digital performance of companies.

D-Rating provides all market players (investors, financial analysts, fund managers and companies) with an independent rating of the digital competitiveness of companies likely to impact their medium-term performance.

Thanks to an innovative approach based on a data-driven methodology - including the analysis of more than 700 indicators - D-Rating is already a standard in the financial services sector.

As an example, the ratings carried out during the 2020 campaign include:

- Opening of 240 bank accounts and the analysis of the associated customer paths,

- Completion of 460 transfer operations,

- Approximately 1,050 minutes of videoconference with advisors,

- Analysis of 2,500 digital contact points (websites, apps, social networks),

- 1,100 tests of the responsiveness and relevance of the contact channels made available to customers and prospects,

- Processing of 120,000 customer comments and integration of the Google shops ratings of 20,000 agencies,

- 1,200,000 web speed test and 250,000 web page compliance tests,

- Processing of 2,500,000 data from app stores (ratings, reviews, etc.) ...

The company is committed to deploying its activities internationally and in multiple sectors of activity.


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[1] Arkéa (FR), Banque Populaire (FR), BNP Paribas (FR), Caisse d’Épargne (FR), Crédit Agricole (FR), Crédit Mutuel (FR), Orange Bank (FR), Société Générale (FR), Belfius (BE), BNPP Fortis (BE), ING BE (BE), KBC Bank (BE), Keytrade Bank (BE), Banco Sabadell (SP), Banco Santander (SP), Bankia (SP), Bankinter (SP), BBVA (SP), CaixaBank (SP), ING ES (SP), ABN Amro (NL), Bunq (NL), ING NL (NL), Rabobank (NL), Barclays (UK), HSBC UK (UK), Lloyds Bank (UK), Marcus by GS (UK), Monzo (UK), NatWest (UK), Revolut UK (UK), Santander UK (UK), Erste Bank (AT), RBI (AT), Crédit Suisse (CH), Raiffeisen Schweiz (CH), UBS (CH), ZKB (CH), Commerzbank (DE), Deutsche Bank (DE), N26 DE (DE), Banco BPM (IT), Che Banca ! (IT), Fineco Bank (IT), Intesa SanPaolo (IT), UBI Banca (IT), Unicredit (IT), Danske Bank (DK), Handelsbanken (SE), Nordea (FI), SEB (SE), Swedbank (SE), AKBank (TR), Garanti BBVA (TR), mBank (PL), SBerbank (RU), VTB (RU)

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