Wrong. I had meant to compare the public sector favourably with the private sector when it came to private service, quoting from an FT article:
The sheer inefficiency of UK bank bureaucracies in their domestic operations can be compared with public services at their worst. Public services at their best now outperform the banks – so government ownership could actually improve bank performance. The banks should be made more accountable to the public, as public services already are.
Examples come from my own experience but are matched by that of others. Banks use the internet as little as possible to avoid fraud; instead they use the post, in which letters are lost or stolen, and the telephone, which is overloaded and often fails to give results after interminable waiting times.
My bank has three times posted an unwanted cheque book to me in the past year, in spite of being asked not to after a postal theft led to a £2,500 fraud. Alternatives to the Royal Mail are a delusion, because the Royal Mail still does their doorstep delivery – as often as not to the wrong address.
The author correctly identifies cost reduction and the use of channels other than the traditional bank branch as responsible for the decline in service quality. In many private banks in India, it is impossible to meet anybody to discuss a complaint- you can only discuss with an operative at a call centre.
Secondly, public sector banks find themselves obliged to respond because various public functionaries- such as MLAs and MPs and even municipal corporators- will forward complaints. The customer himself or herself has a strong sense of ownership because it is public sector. And public sector banks still rely on branches for customer interaction.