Stat of the month: Only 3.5m current accounts switched using seven day service

26 January 2017
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There are around 70 million active current accounts in the UK, yet only 3.5 million have been moved using the seven day switching service.

The launch of the current account switching service (CASS) in September 2013 was supposed to encourage people to change account where they could get a better deal, but these figures suggest the majority of account holders have stayed put.

Data from payment provider Bacs shows that 1,010,423 switches were completed during 2016 - lower than 1,033,939 switches completed the previous year. This is despite 77% of consumers saying they are aware of the service.

 

In total, 3.5 million switches have been completed since 2013 across 44 providers.

Santander was the big favourite among current account switchers in the second quarter of 2016 (the most recent figures available) - it saw a net increase of 46,208. This was ahead of Nationwide, which saw a gain of 24,999 accounts, and Halifax, which was 22,101 up. 

Barclays was the biggest loser with a net loss of 26,764 current accounts.

Kevin Mountford, banking expert at comparison site Money Supermarket, says: “The number of people switching their current account is yet again underwhelming. Awareness levels of the service may have reached a record high, but more needs to be done to convert this into switches.

“Consumers need more of an incentive and this will only come if providers create more competitive and enticing products. Only a handful are making net gains on switching at the moment, so it’s in the banks’ best interests to shake up their offers too.”

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