Which Bank Has The Safest Online Banking?

Consumer champion Which? has done a study into the security of online banking to see which bank’s website is the safest.


Which? tested 10 of the UK’s biggest banks, and here are the rankings:

  1. NatWest/RBS – 76%
  2. The Co-operative Bank – 72%
  3. HSBC – 72%
  4. Barclays – 71%
  5. Norwich and Peterborough BS – 70%
  6. Lloyds TSB – 69%
  7. Nationwide BS – 69%
  8. Smile – 68%
  9. Halifax – 67%
  10. Santander – 47%

First Direct scored a dismal one star for the security when setting up a new payee and would have scored 46%. However, since Which? carried out their testing, First Direct have  made changes to improve their security. First Direct told Which? it takes security ‘very seriously’ and is introducing a higher level of security.

As you can see from the list, NatWest/Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) security rated highest with an overall score of 76%. These banks require a card reader to complete higher risk tasks, such as transferring money to a new payee or changing your password.

These banks also lock customers out of their accounts for 10 minutes if they try to log on from two different IP addresses at once. This would deter a fraudster who may try and access your account while you’re already logged in.

Santander scored the lowest – just 47% – getting lower ratings in a number of areas compared with the top performing banks. It fell down compared with other banks in terms of how it dealt with the security around the log out process.

The tests

In July 2013, Which? asked one customer from each bank to log in to their current account using a test computer, and undertake a range of tasks. They rated each bank using seven different elements of the customer-facing security each used.

They investigated login security, logout security, what security was in place for transferring money to a new payee. Which? also looked at if there was additional security in place when changing personal details online and whether the site allowed users to use the forward and back buttons in their browsers. Encryption against threats and protection against specific attacks were also assessed.

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7 thoughts on “Which Bank Has The Safest Online Banking?

  1. Wow. I’m surprises Lloyds did so badly – I always thought their website was pretty good. It always makes me verify over the phone when I try to do something big like set up a new standing order. Ah well, shows what I know!

  2. SterlingStore Company

    As soon as I saw the title, I hoped to see Barclays leading, but unfortunately… Still I would admit that 76% is not enough for the money-matter security and I hope to see the other figures quite soon.

  3. It’s good to see HSBC on the list. Though it lags by 4% from NatWest/RBS, it is satisfying to see my bank has considerably good and safe online banking facilities. Thanks for this informative content, especially before Christmas.

  4. I’ve always been paranoid about entering any password into any website, but this has told me that I’m with the right bank for online banking – natwest. I’ve always found it secure and pretty reliable.

  5. It’s excellent to see HSBC on the record. Though it lags by 4% from NatWest/RBS, it is fulfilling to see my financial institution has significantly excellent and secure internet financial features. Thanks for this useful material, especially before Xmas.

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