Mike Chambers | 3 February 2019
Bacs (now part of Pay.UK) recently released the Current Account Switching Service (CASS) data for the quarter ending 31 December 2018.
The last quarter of 2018 was strong for Bacs and the account switching service with 235,000 switches successfully completing (up 22% compared to Q3 2018).
The quarter of a million people in the UK that decided to switch their bank account at the end of 2018 helped the switching tally to reach 5.3 million successful bank account switches since launch.
But is 5.3 million current account switches since launch good or bad?
Is the UK’s current account switching service a success or is it falling short?
Consumers know about the service – awareness is at 76% and you can’t miss the service guarantee logo prominently (and proudly?) displayed in the window of banks and building society branches on every high street.
Users are happy – satisfaction amongst those who actually switch is a fantastically high 91%.
The service does what it says on the tin – 99.4% of switches occur within the seven day switch promise.
The service is ubiquitous – almost every provider of current accounts in the UK (99%) offer the service and stand by the guaranteed service levels.
There is a wide range of winners and losers amongst the providers – both established providers (including HSBC and Nationwide) and digital providers (including Starling and Monzo) are gaining accounts at the expense of their competitors.
Offers and incentives abound – there are plenty of incentives to switch with HSBC offering cash or time away for swicthers who choose HSBC.
These are all positive pointers to an accessible, universal, ubiquitous, well received and trustworthy service….
But is 5.3 million switches a good or bad number?
Well, according to The Guardian, the relationship with our bank typically lasts 17 years so our current account relationship tend to be very sticky (and even last longer, perhaps, that this average British marriage – 11 years and 6 months according to The Guardian research).
The 2017 ONS mid year estimate shows that 50.5 million people over the age of 20 live in the UK.
This indicates that just over 10% of us have already switched our bank accounts – 10% of sticky relationships that, on average, last 17 years.
Meatloaf sang that 2 out of 3 ain’t bad and I’d argue that, for current account switching in the UK, 10% of the population over 20 switching ain’t bad either.
If you do fall out of love with your bank and choose to switch your current account to a new bank or building society make sure you join the 5.3 million others and switch with Bacs’ Current Account Switch Service – find out more at: www.currentaccountswitch.co.uk