The Co-Operative Bank has launched a new incentive scheme for those signing up to its current account switching service – a £125 "golden hello" for new customers.
It comes on the same day that rival Nationwide has begun offering existing customers £50 if they refer a friend who goes on to take out a current account with the building society – with a maximum of ten referrals worth £500 a year allowed.
People who use the Current Account Switch Service to apply for a Co-op Standard Current Account or Current Account Plus and then credit it with at least £800 within 31 days will be eligible for the incentive.
The payment comprises £100 credited to the new account, along with £25 which the Co-op will hand to a charity of your choice. The list of eligible charities are: Action Aid, Amnesty International, Carers Trust, Help the Hospices, Oxfam, Water Aid, and the Woodland Trust.
The offer is not available to existing customers who have a Co-operative Bank or smile current account.
Since the Payments Council's Current Account Switch Service was launched in mid-September 2013, high street current providers have been falling over themselves to offer incentives to attract new customers.
At Nationwide, when an existing FlexAccount, FlexDirect or FlexPlus customer recommends one of the firm's current accounts (and that person completes a switch using the Current Account Switch Service), both parties will receive £50.
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Existing Nationwide current account customers can recommend up to ten friends a year, giving them the opportunity to earn up to £500 a year.
Phil Smith, Nationwide's head of current accounts, said: "Word of mouth is valuable to us as it shows that our customers are pleased with the products and service we offer and that they are willing to recommend us to their friends and family.
"There are a number of switching offers on the market, but ours is the only one that rewards existing customers as well as new customers."