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NatWest sees highest number of bank account switchers as competition hots up

NatWest sees highest number of bank account switchers as competition hots up
Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

Natwest, HSBC, RBS and Ulster Bank were the big winners in the current account wars in the latest period.

Almost 1.4 million bank customers switched to a new bank between 1 October 2022 and 30 September 2023, a 63% increase compared to the previous year, according to the Current Account Switch Service (CASS).

The service facilitated 1,399,571 switches in the 12-month period, with 344,195 of these taking place in Q3 2023 (July to September). This marked a 55% increase in switches compared to the same period in 2022.

Citibank, Allica Bank, and Rothschild joined CASS in Q3 2023, taking the number of banks and building societies participating in the switching service to 51.

Which banks are gaining customers?

End user switching data, which is three months in arrears, shows that from April to June 2023, NatWest saw the highest net switching gains (99,695), followed by HSBC (25,769), RBS (16,017), and Ulster Bank (2,330).

March remains the busiest month for switching so far in 2023, with 155,116 switches taking place. However, August (126,174 switches) and July (122,915 switches) saw the second and third highest number of switches so far this year.

The latest data for Q3 2023 shows that seven in 10 (71%) switchers preferred their new current account to their previous one, with service-related, non-financial benefits continuing to be the main reasons end users preferred their new account.

Those who switched current account through CASS during Q3 2023 cited better online or mobile app banking (45%) and customer service (32%) as the top two reasons for preferring their new account. Following this, interest earned (31%) and location of branches (24%) came in as the third and fourth most important factors.

CASS: ‘Greater choice for customers’

John Dentry, product owner at Pay.UK, which owns CASS, said: “The Current Account Switch Service marked its 10 year anniversary this quarter, and in that time, the service has upheld an important role in supporting consumers and businesses change their current account to better suit their needs.

“It is particularly noteworthy that three new customers, Citibank, Allica Bank, and Rothschild, have joined the service this quarter, enabling greater choice for consumers and demonstrating the significance of the service.”