James Daley

By James Daley

When you're taking out a financial product, it often feels like a bit of a risk to go with a smaller company. Seven years ago, customers in Northern Rock got the fright of their life when the bank nearly went bust, and the result was that many people moved their money back to the largest banks on our high street.

Although Northern Rock was the catalyst, it wasn't just Northern Rock customers who got caught up in this flight to perceived safety. The market share of the big banks increased significantly during the years of the financial crisis - partly due to some major mergers, but also due to people feeling that they didn't want to be taking a risk with who they banked with.

The losers admidst this shift were the smaller brands - in insurance as well as banking. In the eye of the storm, customers were much less likely to be seduced by the promise of good service than they were by the promise of safety and security.

Celebrating the challengers

But the smaller brands have started to gain some traction again over the past few years, and one of our goals at Fairer Finance is to help them get the recognition they deserve. If millions of switchers bought their insurance from the likes of Ecclesisatical, NFU Mutual or Staysure - or moved their bank account to Metrobank, or took out a loan from Zopa - the larger brands would be forced to sit up and maybe follow suit.

If you're happy and you know it...tweet

So next time you're taking out a financial product, why not give your business to one of the challenger brands, and while you're at it, tweet about your experience if you're happy with it (and if you're not of course!). Too often, people only take to Twitter or Facebook to complain about their bank or insurer. But it would be great to see more people celebrating the financial companies that are doing well.

Later this week, we'll be revealing who Fairer Finance has opened its bank account with and why.