Rory McIlroy helps boost Santander 123 accounts
The growing trend towards customers paying for their bank accounts has been reinforced as Santander UK said another 900,000 people have signed up to its 123 account since January.
The bank, which kicked off the sector reporting season, said it had reaped the rewards of its heavyweight advertising campaign, starring Jenson Button, Jessica Ennis and Rory McIlroy.
Santander's monthly charging 123 account now makes up 2.2 million out of the bank's 2.6 million customers in the UK.
Of the 900,000 new customers, just over 180,000 switched from other UK banks, with Santander saying it is already seeing positive signs from the simpler switching rules which came in last month.
Ana Botin, who became chief executive almost three years ago, said: "Helping people and businesses prosper through simple, personal and fair banking is at the heart of our strategy."
Pre-tax profits fell from £1.04bn to £891m but that largely reflected the lack of one-off gains made in 2012. Profit after tax was broadly stable at £71m.