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Current account switches steadily rose in Q3 as bank incentive offers returned

• 136,575 switches took place between July and September – 38,383 more than in Q2
• Monthly figures rose consistently throughout the quarter with a number of banks and building societies beginning to offer incentives again
• Awareness and satisfaction of the Current Account Switch Service remained consistently high, at 77 per cent and 91 per cent respectively through the quarter
• Over 100 million payments have now been successfully redirected using the service
• A new CASS advertising campaign will help the financially vulnerable take control of their finances

29 October 2020: The Current Account Switch Service today publishes the Q3 2020 Dashboard1 reporting the latest switching figures and trends. Similar to many financial services organisations, the Current Account Switch Service saw a reduction in consumer activity between April and June, but new data shows the volume of switching activity increased from July to September.

In total 136,575 switches took place in the third quarter of 2020, a significant rise of 38,383 compared to switches in Q2. Monthly data shows that switching figures increased consistently from July (29,895) to September (62,511) as some participants offered cash incentives for switching again.

Since the Current Account Switch Service launched in 2013, over 6.8 million accounts have been switched and more than 100 million payments have been successfully redirected by the service. The Current Account Switch Service has a seven-day switching success rate of 99.4 per cent. Of those who switched using the service over the past three years, 85 per cent would recommend it.

Of the Current Account Switch Service’s 49 participants, Starling Bank had the largest net switching gain in Q2 2020 (participant data is collected three months in arrears). Starling Bank was followed by Monzo, Nationwide, NatWest and Triodos Bank.

Awareness and satisfaction levels for the Current Account Switch Service remained high in Q3 2020 at 77 per cent and 91 per cent respectively. While overall awareness of the service did decrease a marginal amount compared to Q2 2020, when it was 81 per cent, it still remains above the key performance target of 75 per cent. Age continues to be a key factor in awareness as well. Two fifths (41 per cent) of those aged under 25 are aware of the service compared to 88 per cent of those aged over 65.

The Current Account Switch Service’s latest data2 shows that the most commonly cited reasons for favouring a new account were improved online banking facilities (47 per cent), preferable mobile banking systems (39 per cent) and better customer service (37 per cent) – all classed as non-financial reasons. Of those who completed a switch using the Current Account Switch Service 72 per cent say they prefer their new current account.

In October 2020, the Current Account Switch Service launched an advertising campaign targeting those classed as financially vulnerable with the aim of helping consumers and businesses take charge of their money and work towards reducing financial stress. The campaign’s message ‘If money is on your mind, having the right bank account is important’ demonstrates the service is available to help people find the best bank account to suit their needs.

The market changes we’ve seen this year are like nothing anyone anticipated a few short months ago and we’re now looking at a very different financial ecosystem. After a dip in switching figures earlier in the year it’s encouraging to see month-on-month rises in switching numbers through the most recent quarter. Our focus is to ensure the Current Account Switch Service is available to those who wish to manage their finances more flexibly by switching their current account in a stress-free manner.

We recognise that many consumers and businesses could be at more risk of financial vulnerability due to the spread of COVID-19. We recently launched a new advertising campaign designed to raise awareness of the service among those who may benefit from it most.

Said Maha El Dimachki, Chief Payments Officer of Pay.UK, owner and operator of the Current Account Switch Service