23rd April 2015
The number of people switching bank account in a bid to find a better deal jumped by 7% over the past year according to figures published by The Payments Council today.
The data from the organisation which oversees the Current Account Switch Service, where consumers can change bank in a week as opposed to the previous 30 day window, shows that there were 1.14m switches in last 12 months, marking 7% year-on-year increase.
While the information has a six month delay, the figures show Santander and Halifax have been the major beneficiaries, where in the 12 months to 30 Sept 2014, they netted 170,551 and 156,639 extra accounts from their rivals respectively.
At the other end of the table NatWest lost 69,181, Co-op bank shed 51,180 while Barclays saw an outflow of 83,296.
For its part HSBC was down 48,123 accounts while Royal Bank of Scotland lost 35,952 accounts.
Commenting on the Payments Council’s switching figures Andrew Hagger of MoneyComms said: “The figures show that although more people are voting with their feet and looking for a more suitable banking relationship, the vast majority are refusing to budge from their existing provider despite the array of enticing upfront cash incentives on offer.”
Kevin Mountford, head of banking at comparison site MoneySuperMarket broadly agrees, asserting that while personal current account switching has increased, the numbers are not overwhelming. He said: “Banks and building societies need to do some work to create innovative new products and drum up excitement to switch.”
Recent months have however witnessed banks up their game, where alongside switching incentives of up to £150, current accounts are becoming increasingly attractive thanks to high interest rates and monthly cash rewards.
David Mann, head of money at uSwitch.com added: “Only recently Barclays made a U-turn and introduced a reward scheme following highly competitive cashback offers from Halifax and Santander. High interest paying accounts, such as those from Nationwide and Lloyds, are also leading to people switching their current account in order to make their savings work harder.”