2014 Q1 Consumer Finance Website Benchmark – new leaders of the pack

We are all gradually getting used to interfacing with our banking services online via PCs and mobile devices, rather than popping down to the High Street to the local branch, and of course we expect our online experience to be a good one, every time.
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London City - London, Greater - England

LONDON - March 3, 2014 - PRLog -- That’s why the latest Sitemorse Index of the online presence of more than 200 UK top consumer finance companies is helpful. Our automated checks, covering quality, user experience, accessibility, performance and search engine optimisation, provide a key marker for leading companies in the consumer finance sector.

Topping our list of high performing sites for first quarter of 2014, with 7.6 out of a possible ten marks, is Edinburgh-based Intelligent Finance (IF). A division of the Bank of Scotland, IF is no stranger to the top of the Sitemorse chart, taking first place in published Indexes in 2009, 2010 and 2011, so it’s nice to see them back on top after a rise of five places from our last benchmark in November.

Second spot this time is retained by private banker Brown Shipley, which offers a UK-wide wealth management service aimed at both UK citizens and international investors.  Scoring 7.5/10 overall the bank is another recent high performer, but has moved rapidly up the ranks since 2010, when it was rated 41st in the Index.

Third place this time goes to Welcome Finance, which operates from Batley, West Yorkshire with a score of 7.5/10, rising just one place in the Index and coming in just a whisker behind Brown Shipley. The highest climber this time is HSBC Private Bank which joins the top 20 having climbed nearly 200 places.

Index ranking is undertaken by Sitemorse using automated software that, page-by-page, reads the first 125 pages of each site to generate a table based on checks to the quality, user experience, accessibility, performance and search engine optimisation capability of each.

Four new sites join the ranking this time, Standard Chartered Bank UK which comes in at 60th place, JCB Card Europe (placed in 71st position), Ireland’s EBS Building Society, rated 103rd, and DNB Norbank, Denmark’s leading bank , placed 173rd.

Our biggest improvers this time are the Building Societies Association (up 77 places to 67th overall), Rothschild & Sons (rising 80places to 66th), Debt Free Direct Group (+98 to 51st overall), The Bank of China UK (rising 109 places to 75th) and top riser HSBC Private Bank (rising 183 to 20th overall)

The importance of an accessible website

Around 15% of European citizens of working age, or 80 million people, have a disability or some form of functional limitation. Both that real number and the percentage will grow as the European population continues to age. Websites that can’t be navigated by disabled users, apart from being illegal, may discriminate against them and website accessibility is backed by law.

Julian Hodge Bank’s website and that of the Leeds Building Society score highest in this sector on accessibility, scoring 9/10, with Intelligent Finance scoring 8/10.

It’s important that websites respond quickly, and we think a response time longer than 0.75 seconds for a web page can have a negative effect on user experience. Fastest performers in our Index were Numis Securities, The One Account, the European Bank, RBS and Yorkshire Bank, with the first three responding in 0.01 seconds, on average.

About the Index

The quarterly Index Website Review, powered by the Sitemorse software platform, is an important independent benchmark that clearly shows how websites are performing, meeting compliance levels and satisfying their users. It’s also a key indicator for website managers who, while always wanting to be at the top of their game, could be hampered by poor-performing suppliers, non-compliant legacy content or content management systems that often fail to spot errors affecting user experience.

Sitemorse servicessuch as Governisation and the Web Management Toolkit immediately find the issues that affect web users the most on any web presence, help demonstrate real improvement and ensure you have control and confidence in your web presence.

They will help you minimise unnecessary risk, issues covering everything from compliance with web standards to helping you deal with malware, protect your brand across even a large web presence, and enhance search engine optimisation to help more potential customers find you. They can help spotlight content that may need updating, issues with staff training and support, and focus supplier management. We offer a confidential internal ‘company wide' website testing and benchmarking service - allowing you to review the position of all the sites in your organisation. Contact us to request further details and / or an example.

More information

More information about our Index and methodology can be found on our website http://www.sitemorse.com/survey/

For further Information: Geoff Paddock, Head of Communications on +44 207 183 5588 gpaddock@Sitemorse.com (mailto:gpaddock@Sitemorse.com)

Sitemorse Ltd
+44 207 183 5588
Source:Sitemorse Ltd
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Tags:Bank websites, Finance Websites, Consumer Finance, Banking
Industry:Banking, Finance
Location:London City - London, Greater - England
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