More than a million Britons switched their current account provider in 2014

22nd January 2015

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More than a million UK bank customers changed their current account provider last year according to the latest data from the Payments Council.

The organisation oversees the Current Account Switch Service, which came into force in September 2013 whereby consumers can switch banks in seven days, as opposed to the previous 30 days.

Its latest numbers show that 1.16m consumers defected to a different bank in 2014, marking a 12% year-on-year increase.

Dan Plant, consumer expert at MoneySuperMarket said: “The 12% increase in people switching current accounts in 2014 compared to 2013 is  encouraging – though perhaps not the game-changer people expected when the 7 day switch was launched in September 2013. It looks as though banks and building societies still have some way to go to stir up excitement about the benefits of switching your bank account – the lack of innovative new products hasn’t helped that either.”

The figures show that the High Street giants, with the exception of Santander, are haemorrhaging accounts.

Andrew Hagger of Moneycomms said: “Looking at the first six months of 2014, the figures for the high street giants paint a grim picture with Barclays, NatWest, HSBC and Lloyds Bank showing a combined net loss of 119,792 customers in the first half of 2014.”

But in contrast the Spanish owned Santander enjoyed a net gain of 97,238 in the same six month period; no doubt partly due to the attractive interest rate of 3% paid on its 123 account current on credit balances between £3,000 and £20,000.

Hagger highlights that Halifax ended up with an extra 56,683 switchers in the first half of 2014 although the second quarter gain of 15,125 was well down on its first three months of the year when it witnessed a net influx of 41,558 new accounts.

For its part Nationwide Building Society is the only other provider showing steady growth – up 26,450 switchers in the first half of last year.

Lloyds Bank endured a net loss of 21,518 accounts in the last six months and despite the offer of a £100 + £25 (to charity) switching incentive by Co-operative bank, its troubled second quarter of 2014 was reflected in a big increase in customers switching away – the second quarter net loss of 19,103 accounts was well up on the 7852 loss reported in the first 3 months.

Hagger adds: “The latest payments council figures were too early for the likes of Tesco Bank, launched 10 June, and M&S but I’m disappointed not to see figures for TSB or Metro Bank.

“There has been much talk of challenger banks and how they may appeal to customers fed up with their traditional high street bank so I’m surprised that they don’t want to show their hand and let the industry see just how much of a slice of new business they’re actually taking in the ultra-competitive current account market.”

Current Account Switching Data First half 2014 (1 Jan – 30 Jun 2014)

Brand

Gains

Losses

Net movement

1

Santander

139616

42378

97238

2

Halifax

106430

49747

56683

3

Nationwide Building Society

48014

21474

26540

4

Low value recipients

1423

1042

381

5

Bank of Scotland

7184

7572

-388

6

Danske Bank

1061

1795

-734

7

Bank of Ireland

606

1621

-1015

8

AIB Group (UK) plc

303

1935

-1632

9

Ulster Bank

387

3257

-2870

10

Clydesdale Bank

2381

17090

-14709

11

RBS

5090

23584

-18494

12

Lloyds Bank

113896

135414

-21518

13

HSBC

35937

62499

-26562

14

Co-operative Bank

8971

35926

-26955

15

NatWest

24156

57282

-33126

16

Barclays

20402

58988

-38586

Data from The Payments Council from Q1 and Q2 2014 – amalgamated by Moneycomms.co.uk 21.01.2015

 

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