Belfast Telegraph

Six million current accounts switched since introduction of new service

The seven-day switching service was introduced in 2013 to make it easier for people to change banks.

The Current Account Switch Service was introduced in 2013 (PA)
The Current Account Switch Service was introduced in 2013 (PA)

By Vicky Shaw, PA Personal Finance Correspondent

More than six million current account switches have now taken place since a service to make the process easier was launched in 2013.

Figures from the Current Account Switch Service (Cass) show it has redirected more than 85.5 million payments from the old accounts of customers who have switched to their new ones.

Before, it could take as long as a month to “ditch and switch” providers.

A survey from Cass of 2,300 people also found that 37% of under-25s leave their old account open when getting a new one, compared with only 17% of over-35s.

People who do leave their old accounts open do not benefit from Cass’s switch guarantee.

The guarantee means a customer’s new bank takes care of closing their old account, moving their balance and switching their payments.

Figures provided to Cass by banks and building societies also suggest that, between April 1 and June 30 2019, Nationwide Building Society, NatWest and HSBC were among the biggest “winners” in terms of people switching to them.

Many people also switched to challenger brands. Digital banks Monzo and Starling Bank also made net gains, as did ethical bank Triodos.

Barclays, Halifax, Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and TSB were among those who made net customer losses.

The figures only cover customers who switched using the full Cass service with the guarantee and therefore do not include switches made outside the service.

Here are the net customer gains and losses made by providers between April and June:

– AIB Group UK (includes First Trust Bank and Allied Irish Bank brand switches), minus 948
– Bank of Ireland (includes Post Office brand switches), minus 3,721
– Bank of Scotland, minus 620
– Barclays, minus 10,988
– Clydesdale Bank (includes Yorkshire Bank brand switches), minus 3,455
– Co-operative (includes Smile brand switches), minus 5,145
– Danske, minus 367
– Halifax, minus 12,058
– HSBC (includes First Direct and M&S Bank brand switches), 15,782
– Lloyds Bank, minus 8,971
– Monzo Bank, 13,453
– Nationwide, 26,466
– NatWest, 15,735
– RBS (includes Adam & Company, Coutts and Isle of Man brand switches), minus 10,440
– Santander, minus 6,103
– Starling Bank, 6,686
– Tesco Bank, minus 6,391
– Triodos Bank, 367
– TSB, minus 8,110
– Ulster Bank, 313