Wednesday 4 November 2020 9:03 am

Shakespeare: Monzo's tough year doesn't improve with new card

Monzo has had a tough 2020 so far. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the challenger bank has laid off employees, doubled its losses, and faced difficult questions about its viability as a “going concern”

October proved to be no exception. New data from YouGov BrandIndex shows that Monzo’s latest attempt to launch paid-for accounts adversely affected its performance across several metrics.

After announcing the £15-a-month Monzo Premium service on October 20, the bank saw its Reputation score – which measures whether a consumer would be proud to work for a business or not – fall from 8.1 to 2.6 over five days, while its Value for Money score fell from 5.9 to 1.9 over the same period. 

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Its Consideration score, which measures whether someone would think about buying a particular product or service, fell from 10.1 to 7.4, while its Impression score (which looks at whether consumers have a positive or negative perception of a brand) also fell from 10.4 to 6.8. 

These scores rebounded over the following few days – only to fall again after allegations published in a new “tell-all” book from Starling CEO Anne Boden about Monzo founder Tom Blomfield. 

After the book’s contents were featured in The Times and The Telegraph between October 24 and October 27, Monzo’s Recommendation score (which measures whether consumers would endorse a particular brand to their friends or family) more than halved – falling from 10.7 to 4.1. 

It was the same story with its Satisfaction scores (which measures whether consumers are satisfied or dissatisfied with a particular brand), which declined from 8.4 to 3.1 over the same period. Similarly, the brand’s Consideration declined by more than five points, falling from 12.0 to 6.7. 

Monzo has put a lot of stock in branding and consumer perception. Other challenger banks have taken temporary hits for introducing paid-for services, and stories of boardroom intrigue may not linger long in the public memory. However, it is clear that October was an inauspicious month for the brand in what has already been a difficult year.