Complaints cut by more than half at the Halifax

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HALIFAX has more than halved the number of customer complaints received over the past two years.

The reduction makes it the best performing UK bank and ranks it joint first with the Nationwide building society in terms of customer satisfaction.

Both Halifax and Nationwide received 0.9 complaints per 1,000 accounts in the second half of 2012.

Lloyds TSB received 1.0, Bank of Scotland received 1.3 and Lloyds Banking Group as a whole received 1.1.

The Lloyds Banking Group brands outperformed HSBC which received 2.6 complaints per 1,000 customers, Barclays which received 2.9 and Santander which clocked up 4.0.

This time last year Halifax received 1.3 complaints per 1,000 customers.

David Nicholson, managing director for Halifax, said: “We’re the best brand on the high street alongside Nationwide. People are feeling the business is performing in the way we’d want it to. The business is operating very healthily.”

Mr Nicholson said Halifax is ahead of where the bank thought it would be on the road to recovery.

“It’s been a great year for Halifax. We aim to be the number one bank for bank switches,” he said.

“Some 300,000 customers switched accounts to us in 2012. That makes us the fastest growing banking provider in the UK.”

Halifax’s Savers’ Prize Draw now has 1.3 million customers and the draw produced 14,000 winners last year.

The draw has attracted 110,000 customers in Yorkshire, up from 80,000 last year.

Halifax gives away £6m a year in prizes to customers who sign up for the savings account, pitching it head to head with Premium Bonds – the UK’s most popular savings scheme.

“Our customers love the Savers’ Prize Draw.

“It’s appealing because it’s the best of savings and premium bonds combined.

“It offers savings rates you’d get from a bank and the opportunity to win £250,000, which is a life-changing sum of money,” said Mr Nicholson.

Mortgages rose by three per cent in 2012 to just under 100,000 and Halifax lent £12bn last year, an increase of five per cent.

Halifax is providing mortgages for one in three of the Government’s New Buy scheme.