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Monzo and Nationwide win the current account switch battle

Paloma Kubiak
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Paloma Kubiak

Monzo and Nationwide gained the greatest number of current account customers in the three months to September 2019, switching figures reveal.

Between 1 July and 30 September 2019, Nationwide reported the largest net gain of current account customers (25,355), after 40,562 came on board while 15,207 bolted the building society.

This is despite its announcement in July last year that it would double overdraft rates for current account customers starting in November.

App-only challenger bank Monzo also reported a stellar period with 21,576 net new accounts after it gained 22,841, but lost 1,265 customer accounts. This is despite its security blunder in the summer. However, Monzo may have lured customers in as it upped rates on savings pots, offering up to 1.81% on a one-year fixed deal.

Overall, HSBC had the largest number of customers who joined in the quarter, but it also had the highest figure of those who left at 28,915. This meant it had a net gain of 17,204. Customers could have been tempted by its £175 switch incentive during this time.

At the other end of the scale, Halifax recorded the largest net loss of 15,714 after 9,377 joined but 25,097 customers exited. NatWest had a net loss of 9,885 as 13,927 joined, but 23,812 ditched the bank.

The figures from Pay.UK which owns and runs the Current Account Switch Service (CASS), reveal that more than 6.3 million switches taken place since the scheme launched in 2013.

Between January and 31 December 2019, there were over a million switches and in the quarter to December 2019, there were 262,106 switches. To date, 49 brands now participate in CASS.

However, the statistics reveal a divide in participation between the generations. Of those who switched over the age of 45, 75% used CASS, while this figure drops to 41% of those aged under 25.

Matthew Hunt, COO of Pay.UK, said: “In 2019 alone we have helped facilitate over a million switches as more consumers use CASS to find a current account that suits their needs better. It’s encouraging to see that such a high proportion of switchers are satisfied with the service and their new account as we move into 2020.

“Although switching figures are increasing, there are still many people who could be taking advantage of the opportunities presented by moving their current account. This is particularly true of those in younger age groups and those considered financially vulnerable. We work to bring the benefits of switching to all by making it easy and hassle free, allowing people to move to an account which works better for them, whatever their financial situation.”

Fiona McCaffrey, head of everyday banking at HSBC, said: “Switching accounts takes minutes and as well as an upfront cash boost, customers can sometimes benefit from better rates and product options. If you’ve had the same current account for a while it might be worth spending a short amount of time switching and taking advantage of one of the offers available.”