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The issue of Customer Care attracts the highest number of negative comments on the internet, reveals first annual UK Banking Social Media Report by DigitalMR.

The first annual social media monitoring study on UK banks by social media research specialist DigitalMR, highlights the topics most often discussed by customers online across 2011. Customer Care was the topic that attracted the most negative comments, while Loans topped the list of positive mentions. Among the banks HSBC (14.4%) and Lloyds TSB (13.5%) account for highest share of customer comments online, while HSBC has the highest proportion of all negative comments with 12.1%.

Social media research specialist DigitalMR releases the first ever annual UK Banking Social Media Report on what customers are saying about UK high street banks online. DigitalMR analysed over 200,000 customer comments about high street banks across January to December 2011.

For the first time, UK banks will be able to gauge customer perceptions of their performance against that of their competitors across a range of criteria for the whole of 2011.

DigitalMR Group Managing Director, Michalis Michael commented: “This report provides a national benchmark for how banking brands are perceived by customers online. Banks attracting criticism will be able to use the analysis to find out how they can improve their competitive position.”

Report Highlights 

The Top 5 most discussed topics online for 2011:

1st Loans

2nd Credit Cards

3rd Customer Care

4th Online Banking 

5th Overdrafts

Loans attracted around 15,000 mentions on the internet. However, banks are likely to turn their attention to the topics that garnered the largest number of negative comments. Top of the list was the issue of “Customer Care” with nearly 3,000 negative comments attributed to it across 2011. Customer Care will be a key concern for 2012 as banks continue to close branches and reduce numbers of staff. The other key topics to attract negative comment were: Loans, Bank Employees and Credit Cards. These topics each attracted more than 2,000 negative comments from customers online.

Overall mentions - top 5 UK banks that receive the highest share of online mentions: 

  1. HSBC (14.4%)
  2. Lloyds TSB (13.5%)
  3. Halifax (10%)
  4. RBS (9.6%)
  5. Santander UK (9%)

There is a large difference in the positive and negative mentions that some of the banks attract. HSBC (9.5%), Halifax (9.5%) and Lloyds TSB (7.8%) received the highest share of positive posts. 

However both HSBC (12.1%) and Lloyds TSB (10.8%) received a relatively higher proportion of negative comments. Conversely Halifax accounted for only 6.2% of negative comments compared with a much larger proportion (9.5%) of positive ones.

Top 5 Net Sentiment Score 

DigitalMR’s report measures, not only the number of comments posted by consumers on the internet, but also sentiment – whether these posts are positive or negative. The difference in the number of positive to negative posts that each bank attracts, provides it with a Net Sentiment Score (NSS). NSS is an overall percentage score of net positive posts. Of the Top 10 banks measured across 2011, the five best performers in terms of achieving the highest NSS were:

  1. ING Direct 57.5%
  2. Halifax 43.3%
  3. Clydesdale Bank 41.7%
  4. Barclays 37.4%
  5. Santander 26.4%

The Royal Bank of Scotland was the only bank from the Top 10, which achieved a negative NSS with (-2.1%). The next lowest was Bank of Ireland with a NSS of 0.5%. 

The full report covers:

  • Share of voice for all banks. 
  • Monthly trend for top 10 banks.
  • Top 10 Topics by number of mentions.
  • The disruptive forces that social network users will have on banks.
  • Individual focus of the top 10 banks.
  • Social Media presence.
  • Recommendations on strategy for the use of Social Media Research.

DigitalMR’s report (powered by SociaNuggets) analysed thousands of customer comments posted via a range of relevant finance related websites and open access social media platforms. It measures, not only the number of comments posted by consumers on the internet, but also sentiment – whether these posts are positive or negative.

Results are based on comments posted by consumers on the major UK banks including: Lloyds TSB, HSBC, Halifax, NatWest, Bank of Ireland, Santander, Barclays, RBS, ING Direct, Clydesdale Bank, Saxo Bank, American Express, First Direct, Bank of Scotland, Abbey, Northern Rock, Northern Bank and Alliance and Leicester.

For more information on the full report, contents and further data click here.



For further information on the UK Banking Social Media Report.

Michalis A. Michael,
tel: +44 751 571 0370


About DigitalMR
DigitalMR understands what people think and feel when they share views online. It is a specialist agency which provides a holistic approach to web based market research. It specialises in utilising social media research, especially active web-listening, and online communities to enhance its business consulting approach. The agency has pioneered new methods in online focus groups alongside tools such as video diaries, bulletin boards and online ethnography. DigitalMR is headed by founder and Group MD, Michalis Michael and has offices in London UK, Nicosia Cyprus, and Columbus Ohio, in the US.

About SocialNuggets 
SocialNuggets technology delivers real-time market intelligence for fast moving industries by analyzing data from various social media sources with a mission to liberate social media data and sentiment analysis for use in real-time research of brands, products and features. SocialNuggets delivers ready to use market intelligence for various industry verticals including consumer electronics and banking. SocialNuggets data is delivered in bite size, ready-to-consume, infographics and is also available in the form of a full access to our data warehouse for analysis and integration with customers’ data. SocialNuggets, a Serendio company, was founded in 2011 with headquarters in Santa Clara, CA. For more information, please visit


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