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Current account switch

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Current account switch

Figures have come from the Current Account Switch Service

Nationwide Building Society, Barclays and Lloyds Bank made the biggest gains through customers using the Current Account Switch Service (Cass) in the final quarter of 2023, industry figures indicate.

Between October 1 and December 31, Nationwide made 163,363 net gains in terms of full account switches.

Barclays made 12,823 net gains, while Lloyds made 5,800, according to the figures published by Cass.

At the other end of the spectrum, NatWest made 43,182 net switching losses, RBS lost 11,621, Halifax lost 41,144 and Santander lost 34,581.

The figures do not include current account switches made outside the service, which ensures that payments are automatically moved to the new bank account and offers a guarantee that customers will not be left out of pocket if anything goes wrong.

Andrew Hagger, a personal finance expert and founder of Moneycomms.co.uk, said:”Nationwide blew the competition away” in the fourth quarter of last year.

He suggested that a £200 switching incentive from Nationwide last autumn may have helped attract customers.

Mr Hagger added: “Consumers are happy to jump ship for the next freebie – particularly as people are still feeling the squeeze from higher bills.”

Research released by financial information website Moneyfactscompare.co.uk this week indicated that cash-to-switch offers have been vanishing.

A £175 switching offer from First Direct, which launched on March 26, ended on Monday, following several other banks pulling their cash sweeteners.

Alastair Douglas, CEO of TotallyMoney, said: “If, and when cash bonuses return to market, let’s just hope they’re simple and easy to understand. Recently, we’ve seen some banks ask customers to jump through multiple hoops to secure the headline offer, including minimum transaction numbers, app logins, and even setting up a separate savings account.

“But whatever does happen, it’s probably worth checking to see if you can secure improved rates, cheaper overdrafts and a better service elsewhere.”

In the first quarter of this year, Cass facilitated 320,364 switches, bringing its total to 10.6 million since the service launched in 2013.

Small business and charity account switching was up 10% compared to the same period last year, with 7,075 switches taking place through the quarter.

The overall number of switches taking place in the first quarter of this year was lower than in the final quarter of 2023, when 433,701 switches took place.

John Dentry, product owner at Pay.UK – owner and operator of Cass, said: “Cash incentives continue to be a highly effective way for banks to attract customers, but as we repeatedly see through our data, online or mobile app banking remains the top reason why people prefer their new account.

“The end of the financial year may have contributed to a spike in switching from businesses, as many spring clean their finances and set themselves up for a successful year ahead.”

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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