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NatWest switch winner as thousands flocked to its £150 bonus

Paloma Kubiak
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Paloma Kubiak

More than 33,000 savers switched their current account to NatWest in the three months to March 2022, which ties in with the launch of its £150 cash incentive for new customers.

NatWest gained 33,310 customers in Q1 2022, with the numbers bolstered by its current account switch incentive which increased from £100 to £150 in the New Year.

However, it also suffered a loss of 13,846 customers, leaving it with a net gain of 19,464 – still the largest net gain across 47 banking brands.

According to Pay.UK which owns and operates the Current Account Switch Service (CASS), HSBC suffered the greatest loss with 29,960 accounts, but it also saw the largest gains at 35,136. Overall in the quarter, it was left with a net gain of 5,176.

Santander saw an exodus of customers as it lost 25,972 account holders, followed by Halifax with 19,283.

After NatWest, Nationwide came in second place with a net gain of 12,503, with challenger Starling Bank coming in third with a net gain of 11,888.

Meanwhile, TSB saw the largest net loss at -13,120 as it lost 15,061 customers while only 1,941 came on board. This was followed by Barclays with a net loss of -12,851 and Halifax with -11,939.

While the customer data is three months in arrears, Pay.UK revealed there were a total of 191,777 switches in the three months to June 2022. It said 99.7% of switches were completed within the seven working day timescale.

And over the past 12 months (1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022), there were a total of 850,243 switches, an increase of 203,674 compared to the same period the year before. This is presumably down to switch bonuses all but drying up amid the pandemic and customers seeking stability with their current lender.

Pay.UK said that not only had more people switched current accounts, but a greater portion had done so through the Current Account Switch Service. Nearly two in three (63%) current account switchers in the last 12 months used the service, up from 55% in the two years before.

People assessing current accounts

David Piper, head of service lines at Pay.UK, said: “As life in the UK begins to return to its pre-pandemic form, we have seen an uplift in the numbers choosing to switch to a new current account. This trend could continue in 2022 with many looking to take advantage of rising interest rates and the cashback incentives that some providers are currently offering.

“Of course, rising living costs provide another reason for people to assess whether their existing current account is providing the right service for their needs, or whether moving to another current account might be a prudent move.

“Those considering whether it’s time for a new current account should remember that the Current Account Switch Service is free to use and provides a valuable layer of protection to those wishing to switch in a fast and stress-free manner.”