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Current account switches fall as social distancing measures introduced, almost 100,000 still switch in Q2 2020

  • 98,192 switches took place in Q2 2020 – 182,328 fewer than in Q1 2020, the lower number was as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing measures
  • Awareness and satisfaction of the service remain consistently high, at 81 per cent and 92 per cent respectively
  • In this quarter consumers favoured new accounts with improved customer service and online banking facilities rather than financial reasons such as better rates and lower charges
  • 6.7 million switches have been completed since the launch of the Current Account Switch Service and the Switch Service Guarantee remains available to anyone who needs to change their bank account

30 July 2020: The Current Account Switch Service today publishes the Q2 2020 Dashboard1 reporting the latest switching figures and trends. Like many financial services organisations, the Current Account Switch Service saw a reduction in consumer activity, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent social distancing measures. When comparing switching volumes between April to June 2020 and the previous quarter, a fall of 65% took place. Close to 100,000 switches still took place during social distancing measures, and the service continues to be available to those who wish to switch their current account.  

Since the Current Account Switch Service launched in 2013, over 6.7 million accounts have been switched and more than 98.1 million payments successfully redirected by the service. The Current Account Switch Service has a seven-day switching success rate of 99.5 per cent.

The Q2 2020 Dashboard shows that awareness of, and satisfaction in, the Current Account Switch Service remains above its regulatory targets, at 81 per cent and 92 per cent respectively through April, May and June 2020. Of those who switched using the service over the past three years, 83 per cent would recommend it.

Over the course of the past few months many banks and building societies have increased their support for existing customers due to COVID-19. The Current Account Switch Service’s latest data2 shows that in light of these changes and the wider impact of COVID-19 and the social distancing measures put in place, people are looking for new current accounts that offer them a better service, rather than simply choosing those with the best financial deal. The most commonly cited reasons for favouring a new account were improved online banking facilities (43 per cent), better customer service (38 per cent) and preferable mobile banking systems (36 per cent) – all classed as non-financial reasons. Comparatively, better interest rates (28 per cent), preferable account fees or charges (23 per cent) and cashback on spending (17 per cent) were classed as lesser reasons for being satisfied with a new current account.

Of those who completed a switch using the Current Account Switch Service 69 per cent say they prefer their new current account.

Of the Current Account Switch Service’s 49 participants, HSBC had the largest net switching gain in Q1 2020 (participant data is collected three months in arrears). HSBC was followed by Nationwide Building Society, Monzo, NatWest and Starling.

The past few months have seen highly significant changes for consumers and businesses. Switching numbers overall have been far lower this quarter, but the Current Account Switch Service has continued to provide a dependable, much-needed service to almost 100,000 people who have switched. The Current Account Switch Service continues to be available during these unprecedented times, to help individuals and business who want to switch.

We realise that the impact of COVID-19 on individuals and businesses is high, in particular for those classed as financially vulnerable. The pandemic clearly impacts people way beyond payments, but we are nevertheless doing our part to try and help, and ensuring that the Current Account Switch Service is always available to those who wish to manage their finances more flexibly by switching their current account in a stress-free way.

Said, Matthew Hunt, COO of Pay.UK, owner and operator of the Current Account Switch Service