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Reliability of Current Account Switch Service remains high as switching levels match Q3 2020 totals

  • The latest Q1 2021 Current Account Switch Service Dashboard shows the service has remained reliable during the pandemic, completing 99.8 per cent of switches within seven working days
  • Over 7.2 million switches have now been completed since launch, and awareness and satisfaction of the service remained above targets at 76 per cent and 93 per cent respectively
  • The Confidence Index1 hit an all-time high of 81 per cent in the first three months of 2021
  • Lloyds Bank was the participant with the highest net gains in Q4 2020, followed by Starling Bank and NatWest

29 April 2021: Today, the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) publishes its Q1 2021 Dashboard2 reporting the latest switching figures and trends. Throughout the pandemic, the Current Account Switch Service has maintained a high switch completion rate, which continued in Q1 2021 with 99.8 per cent of switches completing successfully within seven working days. Overall, in 2020 both awareness of and satisfaction with the service remained above target.

Since the service launched in 2013, it has facilitated over 7.2 million account switches and successfully redirected more than 106.9 million payments. A total of 137,976 switches took place in the first quarter of 2021, a figure almost identical to total switches completed in the third quarter of 2020 (136,575) when similar social distancing measurers were in place for many. Q1 2021 figures reflected a drop of 51,297 compared to the final quarter of 2020 (189,273), where social distancing measures were relaxed for many and participants started re-introducing switching incentives to the market.

While current account switches dipped in January (31,854) and February (42,398), there was a significant increase in March (63,724) as the roadmap for the COVID-19 recovery became clearer. Business current account switching has remained stable for the past six months, and Q1 2021 totals (16,113) were slightly higher than those of Q4 2020 (15,294).

Across the Current Account Switch Service’s 50 participants, Lloyds Bank (29,556) had the largest net switching gain in Q4 2020 (participant data is collected three months in arrears). Lloyds Bank was followed by Starling Bank (15,960), NatWest (9,003), Clydesdale Bank (8,584) and Monzo (6,765).

Overall, in 2020 awareness of and satisfaction with the Current Account Switch Service remained above the targets of 75 per cent and 90 per cent respectively. In Q1 2021, 76 per cent of customers were aware of the service, and 93 per cent of those who have used the service over the past three years said they were satisfied.

Confidence in the Current Account Switch Service also hit an all-time high in the first quarter of 2021 achieving 81 per cent. The Confidence Index is the average proportion of CASS users agreeing with each of the following four statements: ‘it would be easy for me to switch’, ‘it would be quick for me to switch’, ‘I think it is a secure and reliable process’ and ‘any problems would be dealt with effectively’.

As the uncertainty around the pandemic continued, the latest data3 from the Current Account Switch Service highlighted that the most commonly cited reasons for favouring a new account continued to be ‘non-financial’. In the first quarter of 2021, consumers favoured better online banking facilities (51 per cent), stronger customer service (44 per cent) and ease of mobile or app-based banking systems (37 per cent) in their new current account. Of those who completed a switch using the Current Account Switch Service 71 per cent say they prefer their new current account, with only 3 per cent stating that their new account was worse.

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. 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. To that end, I’m proud our team has been able to maintain its exceptional 99.8 per cent completion rate into 2021 and awareness and satisfaction levels were above target. Into 2021 and beyond, we’re dedicated to ensuring that the service remains reliable and available to anyone who wishes to move their current account to one that suits them better.

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

1 The Confidence Index is the average proportion of CASS users agreeing with each of the following four statements:

  • It would be easy for me to switch
  • It would be quick for me to switch
  • I think it is a secure and reliable process
  • Any problems would be dealt with effectively

2 Full details are available in the latest edition of the Current Account Switch Service Dashboard (no.30), downloadable from the link above and includes the latest participant movement data for Q4 2020.

3 Online research with over 2,000 respondents.