Investors in the market for offshore opportunities are struggling to find out what's available because of "paltry" provider websites.
Online information by big-name firms including Abbey, Barclays, Citi and Alliance, is seriously lacking according to website ‘customer experience’ firm Global Reviews.
It found investors would struggle to find contact details for their offshore providers’ homepage, while several don’t offer online enquiry forms or an FAQ page.
Adam Goodvach, Global Reviews director, says there are potentially three million Britons frustrated with their offshore providers.
“When it comes to offshore it's not as simple as popping into your local branch,” he says.
“Unfortunately consumers' online experience varies dramatically depending on the website they are visiting.
“It is crucial that providers' improve the content on their websites and make it easier for customers to find the information they are looking for online.
“Given that most customers are high income earners, the paltry efforts of some companies came as quite a surprise.”
Global Reviews assessed 12 of the leading offshore bank account websites against 176 different criteria, including: how easy the site is to find on Google, the quantity and quality of the information provided, as well as the availability of access channels such as enquiry forms, call back services and online chat.
It found HSBC led the 'Offshore Online' benchmark with 58%, followed by Halifax (49%), Abbey (46%), Lloyds TSB (40%), Bradford and Bingley (37%), Britannia (34%), Royal Bank (33%), Barclays (31%), Anglo (29%), Citi (26%), Alliance (24%) and Citigold (18%).
The industry average was 28%, in contrast to the average score for the Savings Account Benchmark, which also covered a dozen companies, which was 48%.
The study concludes most companies make contact information difficult to find from the homepage; only five of the twelve offer FAQs on offshore banking; nine of the twelve providers fail to offer an online enquiry form; and only four out of twelve offer the option to request a call back.
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