Over 8M Current Accounts in the UK Moved Under “Ditching” and Switching Service: Report

Over 8 million current accounts have reportedly been switched since a service making it a lot easier for clients to swap their banks or building society was introduced.

The Current Account Switch Service (Cass) was introduced back in 2013 in order to remove all the hassle out of switching service providers – and there have now been signs of an increase in clients ditching and switching their banking accounts.

Under the scheme, switches are completed in seven (business) working days compared with up to 30 days before the initiative was introduced.

Payments automatically get moved over to the new customer account and a guarantee means clients aren’t left out of pocket in case something goes wrong with the switch.

Figures shared by the service reveal that there were 196,964 switches that occurred between January and March 2022 – which is a significant 41% increase for the same period in 2021.

As well as being attracted by special incentives offered on new accounts, there has also been a requirement for clients to switch away from Tesco and M&S, which had closed down their current account offerings, those behind the switching service noted.

Data offered voluntarily by banking institutions also found that Santander, Nationwide, and Starling Bank had the greatest net switching gains between October and December 2021  (among those customers using Cass).

Santander’s 123 bank account provides cashback on household bills.

Consumer research performed on behalf of Cass revealed that almost one in five (18%) consumers think that the cost of living crisis is forcing them to look for product features like additional overdraft facilities.

One in 10 (10%) think that they need banking services that can assist them with reliably tracking their spending.

David Piper, Head of service lines at Pay.UK, owner and operator of Cass stated:

“We have seen positive levels of engagement and satisfaction with the Current Account Switch Service at the start of this year, with a higher number of switches taking place compared to this quarter in 2021, when pandemic disruption was more front of mind for many.Of course, with cost of living rises continuing to put pressure on many households it’s more important than ever that people assess whether their existing current account is best suited to their needs.”

Piper added:

“It may be that an alternative provider could offer something preferable and we would encourage those considering a switch to remember that the Current Account Switch Service is free to use, easy and guaranteed.”

Here are the net switching gains and losses made by service providers from clients using Cass between October and December of last year:

  • AIB Group UK (includes First Trust Bank and Allied Irish Bank switches), minus 2,181
  • Bank Of Ireland, minus 562
  • Bank of Scotland, minus 140
  • Barclays, minus 11,669
  • Co-operative (includes Smile brand switches), minus 4,235
  • Danske, 98
  • Halifax, minus 342
  • HSBC (includes First Direct and Marks & Spencer Bank brand switches), minus 14,875
  • Lloyds Bank, minus 2,677
  • Monzo, 3,068
  • Nationwide, 33,691
  • NatWest, minus 1,804
  • RBS (includes Adam & Company, Coutts and Isle of Man brand switches), minus 1,435
  • Santander, 36,494
  • Starling Bank, 10,364
  • Tesco Bank (Tesco Bank exited Cass in the final quarter of 2021), minus 20,278
  • Triodos Bank, 642
  • TSB, minus 13,911
  • Ulster Bank, minus 133
  • Virgin Money, minus 8,367

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