Despite the recent scandals and troubles that have engulfed the UK's financial sector, millions of customers say they still feel loyalty toward their bank, according to research among 2,000 consumers by Plastic Card Services (PCS). This article is copyright 2012 The Best Customer Guide.

One out of five consumers (20%) - representing some 10 million adults - said that they still have a sense of loyalty to their existing banking institution, and that they have no desire or intention to swap to a different bank, the survey found. However, banking has not come out of the latest round of controversies completely unscathed, as one in ten consumers (10%) said they felt no loyalty whatsoever to their existing personal banking institution.

Those aged 55 or over were found to be the most loyal, with 30% still having complete faith in their bank, compared to only 7% of those aged under 35. Regionally, loyalty to personal banks was highest in the North East of the country, and lowest in East Anglia.

"Despite a number of different scandals, millions of customers remain loyal to their bank," said Rob Nicholls, managing director for Plastic Card Services. "This just shows that trust and loyalty is gained over a long period of time and does not necessarily disappear overnight, in many cases. Overall, the results show that the British are a loyal lot, and yet not all industries are really using this to their advantage."

While hairdressers led the field, with British consumers being most loyal to their salon or barber, surprisingly shops, pubs and restaurants came further down the list even than banks in the loyalty stakes.

"One might expect consumers to be more faithful to local pubs and restaurants, but the survey showed this isn't necessarily the case," concluded Nicholls. "With excellent customer service, a great offering, and the right marketing strategy, businesses can build a customer base of loyal consumers that return time and time again."