By Oliver Smith on Thursday 29 April 2021
Not bad for a bank that doesn’t offer cash incentives for switching.
Digital challenger Starling Bank maintained its hold in the final quarter of last year as one of the most switched-to UK banks of 2020.
Figures today from the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) show Starling Bank in 2nd place during October and December 2020 with 15,960 customers using the service to switch their primary account to Starling.
That was behind Lloyds Bank, which saw 29,556 net switches buoyed by its £100 cash bonus for new customers, but ahead of Clydesdale Bank with 8,584 switches.
The figures echo Q3 of 2020 when Starling was also the 2nd most switched-to UK bank with 12,652 net switches, and Q2 when Starling was the No.1 most switched-to bank with 11,998 net switches.
Unlike many of the larger incumbent banks which often offer £100 or more to incentivise customers to switch, Starling has remained at the top of the league tables without ever offering a financial incentive for customers to make the jump.
"Starling's combination of a really user-friendly app, backed up with fantastic customer service, has brought thousands of switchers our way, rather than the offer of cash incentives or elaborate gifts. We intend to keep this focus on having the very best technology as our key differentiator," said CEO and founder Anne Boden.
Starling wasn’t the only challenger to end 2020 on a high, sustainable bank Triodos Bank saw the highest ratio of customer gains vs losses of any bank for the second consecutive quarter.
Triodos gained over 15 customers for each customer it lost, ahead of Starling Bank(9.8 customers) and far ahead of Lloyds (3.4), adding a net gain of 1,043 customers to its accounts.
"This is a clear demonstration that people are not only driven by the latest cash incentive, but also looking for good customer service and alignment with their environmental and social values,"said Triodos Bank UK head of retail banking Gareth Griffiths.
This quarter (Q1 2021) the CASS facilitated 137,976 switches, that’s 51,297 fewer switches than were seen at the tail end of 2020, but the switching service pointed to the UK’s reintroduction of Covid-19 lockdown measures in January as the reason for the decline.
To that end, switches ticked up towards the end of Q1 with 36,689 switches in February and 58,065 in March as restrictions were lifted.
“As we moved into 2021, many of the trends from a difficult and unusual 2020 followed as the pandemic developed and the financial ecosystem continued to adapt,” said David Piper, head of service lines at Pay.UK, which operates the CASS.
“Through a fast-changing market, The Current Account Switch Service remained focussed on its priority objectives, to ensure that the service is available to those who wish to move their current account in a simple, reliable and stress-free manner.”