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Barclays, HSBC and Santander lose thousands of customers in Q1 2016

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Current account providers offering credit interest and rewards have seen the largest influx of customers, official switching figures reveal.

Data from Bacs on behalf of the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) shows there were 234,359 switches in the last three months to September, down on the 257,999 in the previous quarter.

The figures also show that in the 12 months to 30 September, there were 1.05 million switches and since January 2016 some 802,036 switches have taken place.

In total, since the launch of the seven working day switch guarantee in September 2013, there have been just over 3.3 million switches, although with an estimated 65 million current accounts in the UK this number represents a tiny fraction.

The statistics show that 12,488 decided to keep their old account open when they switched, falling outside of the CASS guarantee.

The winners and losers

Bacs also today published statistics showing which banks and building societies had the largest number of customer wins and losses in the first quarter of 2016.

Halifax had the largest net gain at 47,421, followed by Nationwide which had a net gain of 28,253.

Andrew Hagger of MoneyComms, said it’s the providers offering credit interest and rewards that have once again performed best in the quarterly current account switching figures.

However, with Halifax, Santander and TSB all recently announcing they’ll slash interest rates for credit balances (and monthly reward in the case of Halifax), “this could really put the brakes on current account switching activity as customers may feel the rewards are no longer sufficient to make it worth the bother,” he said.

Hagger added: “With Santander halving its in-credit rate to 1.5% from 1 November and Halifax cutting its monthly reward by 40% from £5 to £3 per month in early 2017 – it may well be that Nationwide sees a significant inflow of new customers – but only if it doesn’t follow the market trend and maintains its current 5% in credit deal for year one.”

He added that it’s been a struggle to convince people to move banks and the reduction of benefits and credit interest could see activity levels “stagnate” as the difference between accounts narrows and the financial benefit is no longer a driver to look elsewhere for a more favourable deal.

HSBC recorded the largest loss at 43,384, followed by Barclays with 40,674, but taking into consideration gains, Barclays had the largest net loss at -34,553, followed by Natwest with -22,394.