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More than 250,000 switch current accounts in last quarter of 2015

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Written by: Paloma Kubiak
21/01/2016
More than 250,000 people switched bank account in the last three months of 2015, an 11% increase on the preceding quarter, but overall, the total number who have moved over the past year is down 11% compared with 2014.

The Current Account Switch Service (CASS) today published the latest data which show that in the 12-month period from 1 January to 31 December 2015, there were 1.03m switches, compared with 1.15m switches in the same time period a year earlier.

This represents a fall of 11% but the figures show that a total of 257,638 switches took place in the last quarter of 2015, up more than 10% on the 231,063 who switched between July and September 2015.

Since the launch of the seven working day switch guarantee in September 2013, there have been more than 2.5m switches and CASS says more than 99% of these have been completed within that time period.

Biggest winners and losers

Bacs also today published data on behalf of CASS members showing which of the banks and building societies had the largest number of gains and losses between April and June 2015.

Santander gained the most customers with 84,497 switching to it, but 18,352 walked away from the provider, meaning it had a net gain of 66,145.

It was followed by Halifax which saw its customer base swell by 62,229 while 27,866 ditched it so the provider had an overall net gain of 34,363.

In contrast, HSBC recorded the largest loss with 36,065 while it gained 22,662 customers in the same period.

When considering the largest net loss (gains minus losses), Barclays came bottom of the pile as it lost more customers than it gained – 6,286 in comparison to the 33,402 who switched away from the provider.

‘Many struggle to see the value of switching’

Richard Neudegg, head of regulation at uSwitch.com, said: “Despite 2015 seeing some of the best financial incentives for switchers, many still struggle to see the value in switching.

“The banks need to up their game and do more to help their customers understand their current account usage by prompting them with clear information. Shining a light on the true cost of current accounts and the available alternatives could galvanise more consumers to find out if they really have the best account for their specific needs.

“We need to see the Competition and Markets Authority find a way to motivate the banking sector to improve customer service and product innovation through their retail market investigation.”

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