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Bank switching jumps 41 per cent

In the first three months of 2022, current account switching continued to improve after a slump during the pandemic kicked in.

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UK banking customers switched their current accounts 196,964 times between January and March 2022, a 41 per cent increase on the same period in 2021.

Between January and March 2021, there were 138,964 switches.

The pandemic had prompted a slow in bank switching as cash strapped banks pulled back from enticing financial incentives but, according to customer switching data, which is three months in arrears, Santander, Nationwide and Starling Bank had the highest net switching gains between October and December 2021.

Monzo (3,068) and ethical bank Triodos (642) were in fourth and fifth place, respectively.

Despite more customers attracted to deals, non-financial benefits continue to be the main reasons people cite in preferring their new current account to their old one. 

Online banking (53 per cent), mobile banking/banking app ease (42 per cent), customer service (40 per cent) and location of branches (22 per cent) were listed as the top reasons for people preferring their new current account.  

One in ten (10 per cent) also believe that they now need banking services that can help them better track their spending.

“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,” said David Piper, Head of Service Lines at Pay.UK, owner and operator of the Current Account Switch Service.

“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. 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.”

While the number is reassuring higher than the same period last year and higher for all quarters in 2020, it does not quite meet either of the last two quarters of 2021 where 248,902 people switched between October and December and 212,600 between July through September.

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