Data has recently been published by BACS that reveals there has been a drop in customers transferring their current accounts from one bank or building society to another in 2015. This is despite the fact that, under the Current Account Switch Service, there is a guarantee that the process will take a maximum of 7 working days.
Last year, 1,033,939 bank/building society current accounts were switched between providers of the service with this being a drop of around 10.6% in comparison to 2014 when 1,156,838 current accounts were transferred. However, whilst the drop seen in the figures for last year was disappointing, it was pleasing to see that 257,638 current accounts were switched in the last quarter of 2015 with this being around an 11% increase in comparison to Q3 of 2015. Since the service commenced back in September 2013, 2,509,767 current accounts have been switched using the scheme.
It is pleasing to read that there are now 40 participants in the Current Account Switch Service with 3 more having joined in the final quarter of last year. Furthermore, 99% of current accounts are transferred within the target of 7 working days. Another positive statistic is that in excess of 11 million payments were redirected in respect of customers using the above service.
When you look at the data for the number of switches made between the participating banks and building societies during the second quarter of 2015, it shows that the biggest net gain in current accounts was made by Santander with 66,145. In second place was Halifax with a net gain of 34,363 accounts. In third place was Nationwide with a net gain 2,356. The biggest loser was Barclays with a net loss of 27,116 current accounts, Nat West was the second biggest loser with a net loss of 16,279 accounts and RBS were third from bottom with a net loss of 15,700 current accounts.
Customer awareness of the service has increased to 72% at the end of 2015 compared to 69% as at the end of 2014.
It will be interesting to see how many people decide to transfer their current accounts to other banks and building societies in 2016. People will do so for a number of reasons such as being unhappy with the service provided by their existing bank or some may be asked to close their account perhaps because they have not operated their account satisfactorily through, for instance, exceeding their overdraft facility on numerous occasions and then ending up with a poor credit history. If the later happens then there are still a number of options such as opening a basic bank account that often provides a debit card but not a cheque book or an overdraft facility.