More than three million people have moved bank account using the guaranteed switching service since it launched in 2013, and Halifax has gained the most customers.
The latest figures, published today, show that in the first half of 2016, switches via the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) increased by 4% compared to the first half of 2015 - with about 568,000 people moving bank in the first half of the year. See the table below for monthly switching figures.
However, switching seems to have slowed since March, and fewer people switched current account in June 2016 than in June 2015.
Kevin Mountford, head of banking at MoneySupermarket says: “The latest current account switching figures feel slightly underwhelming, with just a 4% increase in switches during the first half of 2016.
“Only a handful of providers – Halifax, Nationwide - are making net gains from switching and it shows more needs to be done to engage customers into switching, and on a more regular basis.
“Providers clearly need to consider adding more products to the market and making it more competitive. At the same time, consumers should continue to put pressure on banks and shop around to see if they can improve on their current deal.
“Given the uncertainty following the Brexit vote many households will be reviewing their finances and as part of this may want to consider changing their current account.”
- See this week’s best current accounts.
Which bank are people switching to?
The banking body behind the CASS has also published figures showing which banks people switched to and from in the final quarter of 2015.
Halifax picked up the lion’s share of new customers, with 31,181 more people signing up than leaving.
This could be down to Halifax’s sign-up offer, which sees customers get a £100 cash bonus when they switch, plus £5 a month when they stay in credit.
- See our Best current account sign up offers.
Nationwide was the other big winner, gaining 26,150 new customers.
Santander, which has gained lots of customers via its flagship 123 Account, saw a lot of people join, but almost as many leave, meaning it ranked fourth in terms of total account gains. Some 38,180 people said goodbye to Santander in the second half of 2015, more than any other bank.
It’s possible these Santander customers were pushed away by the monthly fee on the 123 Account rising from £2 to £5.
The Spanish bank has this week launched a stripped down version of the account with a £1 monthly fee, the same cashback perks, but no interest on in credit balances – perhaps in an attempt to offset some of the customers it’s lost. Read what we think of its new 123 Lite account.
At the other end of the spectrum, Barclays lost some 27,064 customers, while NatWest and RBS said goodbye to 13,928 and 11,430 people respectively.
The table below lists the full winners and losers by bank in the second half of 2015.
Low volume participants
Bank of Ireland
Bank of Scotland
What is the Current Account Switching Service?
The CASS was launched to make moving bank account easier, as there’s lots of evidence that people stick with bank accounts, even if they know they can get a better deal elsewhere.
Under its switching guarantee, moving bank account will take no longer than a week. That’s a big improvement on the old system where moving account could take a month.
Additionally, for people who move banks via CASS, any regular payments, such as direct debits, will automatically be transferred, and payments made to your old account will be forwarded for up to three years.
To take advantage of the CASS, simply speak to the bank you’re transferring to, and it will handle the transfer on your behalf. You’re free to choose the date you switch.
It’s not perfect, but 99% of people who have used CASS so far have had no problems. As part of the guarantee, you’ll also never be left out of pocket if there are any issues during your transfer.
More information is available at www.simplerworld.co.uk.