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Monzo and Starling win latest current account switch battle

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Digital challengers Monzo and Starling gained the greatest number of current account customers in the three months to June 2020 while Santander recorded the largest outgoings.

In the second quarter of the year, Starling reported the largest net gain of current account customers (11,988), after 12,786 came on board while just 788 left the bank, latest switch figures reveal.

In close second came Monzo, which welcomed 12,788 new customers on board while 1,395 left. Net new accounts stood at 11,393 in the three months to June 2020.

Nationwide saw the largest gain of 16,353 new customers, but once losses of 6,270 were taking into consideration, it was left in third place with a net gain of 10,083.

At the other end of the scale, Santander saw the largest net loss of customers (-12,532). It gained just 4,962 customers in the quarter, but of all the participant banks, saw the largest loss at 17,494.

This is the second consecutive net loss for Santander which in the first quarter of 2020 lost 41,222 customers, leaving it with a net -29,192.

It ties in with announcements by Santander that it would cut the interest rate on its flagship 123 account from 1.5% to 1% to 0.6% on balances up to £20,000, as well as double the monthly fee for the 123 Lite account and change the cashback categories.

Halifax came in second bottom place with a gain of 3,383 customers while 13,402 left the lender. Overall, it recorded a net loss of 10,019. Barclays also saw a net loss of -3,325.

The figures from Pay.UK which owns and runs the Current Account Switch Service (CASS), revealed that more than 6.8 million switches have taken place since the scheme launched in 2013.

Between October 2019 and September 2020, there were 777,393 switches and in Q3 2020, there were 136,575 switches, 38,383 more than in Q2.

To date, 49 brands now participate in CASS.

Maha El Dimachki, chief payments officer of Pay.UK, said: “The market changes we’ve seen this year are like nothing anyone anticipated a few short months ago and we’re now looking at a very different financial ecosystem. After a dip in switching figures earlier in the year it’s encouraging to see month-on-month rises in switching numbers through the most recent quarter. Our focus is to ensure the Current Account Switch Service is available to those who wish to manage their finances more flexibly by switching their current account in a stress-free manner.

“We recognise that many consumers and businesses could be at more risk of financial vulnerability due to the spread of Covid-19. We recently launched a new advertising campaign designed to raise awareness of the service among those who may benefit from it most.”

Starling’s CEO and founder, Anne Boden, said: “In this time of remote working and partial lockdowns, customers want to be able to do their banking remotely and at times of day that best suit them. With Starling they get a bank that is on hand to serve and support them 24/7.”