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UK’s big four banks shed 160,000 customers in 12 months

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Britain's big four banks collectively lost almost 160,000 customers in the past year through the Current Account Switch Service, according to figures.

Overall, just over one million customers moved their account to a new bank using the Service in the 12 months to 30 September, compared to 1.2 million in the same period last year.

The big four banks – Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) – all incurred heavy losses.

RBS, which includes the Natwest brand, lost the most current account customers, with 50,399 customers defecting. The group attracted 15,316 new customers, making for a net loss of 35,083.

Some 36,922 Barclays customers moved their accounts elsewhere but the bank attracted the second lowest number of switchers out of the big four resulting in a net loss of 30,582.

HSBC, including First Direct and the Marks & Spencer Bank brand, attracted the highest number of switchers of the big four, with 25,743 customers making the leap, although the bank shed the most customers (39,272), making for a net loss of 13,529.

Lloyds Bank gained 15,333 but lost 30,647, cancelling out their gains almost twice over with an overall decline of 15,314.

In total, the big four gained 62,732 customers and lost 157,240 in this period, making for a combined loss of 94,508.


The figures published by Bacs suggest challenger banks aren’t making a significant dent in the standing of the big four. Of the five banks that secured the most switchers, four were established brands.

Santander, Halifax, HSBC and Nationwide gained the most new customers, with challenger Clydesdale coming fifth.

Challenger TSB, which celebrated its second birthday as an independent entity on 9 September 2015, attracted 9,706 customers, but lost 11,584 (a net loss of 1,878).

The figures also indicate 73 per cent of consumers in the UK are aware of the Current Account Switch Service, up from 69 per cent at the end of June 2015, and a 15 percentage point increase since the service was launched in September 2013. Two million people have switched in total since then.

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