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Switch List; the current account bidding war

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In a progressively acrimonious battle for the hearts and bank accounts of consumers, current account providers offer ever-more generous inducements to ensnare new customers.

Six banks now offer current account holders with other banks rewards in return for switching their everyday banking needs to them. In this article, Your Money takes a look at some of the deals available to consumers – and whether the enticements on offer are really worth a transfer.

First Direct: 1st Account

Since 1991, First Direct has extended a cash incentive to switchers; in fact, it was perhaps the very first bank to offer one. Today, switchers receive £100 cash; to qualify, a customer must close their existing accounts, and have a monthly income of £1,000 at a minimum.

Halifax: Current Account, Reward Account

As reported last week by Your Money, Halifax has increased its switching incentive from £100 to £125. To qualify, a customer must first close their former account and transfer all extant credits and debits to Halifax.

However, Reward account holders are given the further inducement of a £5 payment for every month that over £750 is deposited in the account, two separate direct debits are paid from the account, and the account stays in credit. This means that a customer switching to a ‘Reward’ account could earn up to £185 in their first year with Halifax.

The £750 monthly minimum is also a positive stimulus, as the vast majority of switching offers are predicated on at least £1,000 being deposited every calendar month.

Co-Operative Bank: Standard Account/Current Account Plus

Co-op, having had its principled image blemished by a number of high-profile scandals, admitted to losing over 40,000 current account customers in the first six months of last year.

Its recent history could well account for the firm’s current offer to new customers; a payment of £100 cash and £25 donated to a charity of their choice, in return for a deposit of £800.

However, consumers should note that Co-Op’s two current accounts offer no interest.

Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks

Clydesdale and Yorkshire currently offer a payment of £150 to customers who switch their current accounts.

As with most other promotions detailed here, this reward is not without caveats. Customers must close their existing current accounts, and deposit a minimum of £1,000 every month.

Readers wishing to capitalise on this offer must hurry, as it’s only available until February 28th.


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