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1.2m switch current accounts in 12 months

Lucinda Beeman
Written By:
Lucinda Beeman

More than 1m Brits took advantage of the Current Account Switch Service in its first year, according to the payments council, with provider swaps increasing by 22 per cent. See the winners and losers here.

The switching rules, which came into force last autumn, simplify the proces of changing current account providers and impose a seven day deadline. According to data from the Payments Council 1.2 Brits have taken advantage of the new rules, compared to less than 1m for the same period last year.

According to the Payments Council Natwest has been the biggest loser, ending the year with a deficit of 18,258 current account holders, while Barclays also fared poorly. Halifax gained more than 40,000 account holders and Santander gained more than 37,000.

Kevin Mountford, head of banking at MoneySuperMarket, said: “Today’s data reveals that Halifax, Santander and Nationwide are the clear winners over the past 12 months, showing that listening to customers and taking more of an innovative approach pays off, such as with Santander’s 123 account. It’s also great to see that a building society is able to compete with the big banks. In terms of losers, NatWest and Barclays are at the bottom of the pile, highlighting the fact that recent IT glitches and mis-selling scandals have caused customers to act and vote with their feet.”

Gerard Lemos, executive chairman of the Payments Council, added: “By making switching bank accounts easier than ever before – with the added peace of mind delivered by the Current Account Switch Guarantee – we have created the perfect conditions for competition and choice to flourish amongst new and existing current account providers. These latest figures clearly suggest that the good news is getting through to all those customers who want to change provider – that there has never been a better time to do it.”

Learn how to find the right current account for you here.