More than eight million current accounts have been switched since a service making it easier for customers to swap their banks or building society was launched.
The Current Account Switch Service (Cass) was launched in 2013 to take the hassle out of moving providers – and there have been recent signs of a jump in customers ditching and switching their accounts.
Under the scheme, switches are completed in seven working days compared with up to 30 before the initiative was launched.
Payments are automatically moved over to the new account and a guarantee means customers are not left out of pocket if something goes wrong with the switch.
Figures released by the service show 196,964 switches took place between January and March 2022 – a 41% increase on the same period in 2021.
As well as being attracted by incentives offered on new accounts, there has recently been a need for customers to switch away from Tesco and M&S, which closed their current account offerings, those behind the switching service said.
Data provided voluntarily by banks also revealed Santander, Nationwide and Starling Bank had the highest net switching gains between October and December 2021, among those customers using Cass.
Santander’s 123 account offers cashback on household bills.
Consumer research carried out for Cass found nearly one in five (18%) people feel the cost of living crisis is pushing them to seek out product features such as additional overdraft facilities.
One in 10 (10%) believe that they need banking services that can help them better track their spending.
David Piper, head of service lines at Pay.UK, owner and operator of Cass said: “We have seen positive levels of engagement and satisfaction with the Current Account Switch Service at the start of this year, with a higher number of switches taking place. Compared to this quarter in 2021, when pandemic disruption was more front of mind for many.
“Of course, with cost of living rises continuing to put pressure on many households it’s more important than ever that people assess whether their existing current account is best suited to their needs.
“It may be that an alternative provider could offer something preferable and we would encourage those considering a switch to remember that the Current Account Switch Service is free to use, easy and guaranteed.”
Here are the net switching gains and losses made by providers from customers using Cass between October and December 2021:
AIB Group UK (includes First Trust Bank and Allied Irish Bank switches), minus 2,181
Bank Of Ireland, minus 562
Bank of Scotland, minus 140
Barclays minus 11,669
Co-operative (includes Smile brand switches), minus 4,235
Halifax, minus 342
HSBC (includes First Direct and Marks & Spencer Bank brand switches), minus 14,875
Lloyds Bank, minus 2,677
NatWest, minus 1,804
RBS (includes Adam & Company, Coutts and Isle of Man brand switches), minus 1,435
Starling Bank, 10,364
Tesco Bank (Tesco Bank exited Cass in the final quarter of 2021), minus 20,278
Triodos Bank, 642
TSB, minus 13,911
Ulster Bank, minus 133
Virgin Money, minus 8,367
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.