Nationwide is biggest gainer from current account switching

26 July 2017

Nationwide Building Society enjoyed stronger current account growth than any other provider during the last quarter of 2016.

Figures published by Bacs – which tracks transfers made using the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) – show Nationwide had a net gain of 30,510 accounts during the final three months of 2016 – the latest data available.

A total of 39,075 customers switched to the provider compared to 8,565 who moved their accounts elsewhere.

Nationwide’s FlexDirect account continues to prove attractive to customers. It pays 5% interest on balances up to £2,500, although after a year this rate drops to 1%.

Halifax saw more gains than Nationwide during the quarter with 40,869 new customers joining. However, this was offset by 26,752 account losses – meaning a net gain of 14,117.

The Co-operative Bank was the third biggest gainer, with a net increase of 4,243 current accounts.

Analysis by financial information website Moneycomms shows that in the last three years Santander has been the biggest beneficiary of current account switching. It made a net gain of 454,078 accounts between 2014 and 2016, well ahead of its nearest competitor Halifax (371,410 net gains).

However, Bacs data shows that in the last three months of 2016 Santander suffered a net loss of 7,322 accounts. This is likely down to changes made to its flagship 123 Current Account in November 2016, when the top rate of interest was slashed from 3% to 1.5%.

However, it was Barclays which suffered the biggest net loss of accounts this quarter. By the end of 2016, 23,087 people had moved their accounts away compared to 6,308 new customers joining – a net loss of 16,779 accounts.

Where can I get the best current account switching bonus?

Halifax currently pays the biggest switching bonus to new current account customers. It offers a £125 cash incentive to customers who join it using the Current Account Switch Service – the best deal on the market.

Elsewhere, First Direct pays £100 cash if you switch to one of its current accounts. It also pays another £100 if you are unhappy with the service and leave after the first six months.

If you’re an M&S shopper then you may also want to consider the M&S Bank Current Account. This offers a £125 voucher to new current account switchers, plus a £5 voucher each month for a year, providing you pay in at least £1,000 a month.

All of these accounts have minimum pay-ins and other restrictions. See the Moneywise guide to this week’s best current accounts for more information.

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