Just five banks achieved a net gain in customers in Q3 2019 according to figures released today (23 January 2020) by Pay.UK, the operator of the Current Account Switching Service.

In first place was Nationwide Building Society who gained 25k customers during the quarter closely followed by challenger bank Monzo who gained 21k customers.

HSBC with 17k switchers, and Starling Bank (7k switchers) secured third and fourth places respectively.

The only other winner of the quarter was Triodos Bank with just 409 switchers choosing the specialist bank.

The presence of both Starling and Monzo in the winners list is significant as neither of these banks were providing current accounts at the 2013 launch of the Current Account Switching Service by Bacs Payment Schemes Limited (now part of Pay.UK).

Source: Q4 2019 Current Account Switch Service – Pay.UK

All of the remaining 44 participants in the Current Account Switching Service achieved a net loss of accounts when consumers, small businesses and charities used the world leading switching service operated by Pay.UK.

There is a story behind every winner and loser and behind every switched current account. The ramifications of the banking crisis, closed branches, IT problems, changes to account features and the legacy provider effect will all, no doubt, feature highly.

The Pay.UK report supports these reasons stating that three of the most popular reasons for switching a bank account are: better online banking, improved customer service and better branch locations.

With over one million successful current account switches in 2019 (the largest number of switchers since 2016) the total number of switchers since the service was launched in 2013 has reached 6.3 million.

Having been part of the Current Account Switch Service Programme Board that developed the service and having been responsible for the successful launch and subsequent operation of the service this continued success of the service continues to provide great satisfaction.

The figures speak for themselves: over 90 million payments successfully redirected from the ‘old’ bank to the ‘new’ bank, 99.6% of account switches successfully completes within the 7 day promise and 92% switcher satisfaction.

The satisfaction I experience every time I see the service logo displayed on every High Street, on bank websites and proudly featured in adverts never diminishes.

With over one million succesful switches in 2019, can we expect the switching figures to continue to grow in 2020?

In 2020, we will see the impact of the Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) Capability and Innovation Fund’s £425 million injection designed to improve banking products and services for SME’s. The BCR funding should increase the number of SME’s switching their bank accounts and, hopefully, will counter the decline in SME’s and charities using the account switching service during 2019 (6.3% of switches in July 2019 and 5.2% in December 2019).

From a consumer perspective Pay.UK’s research suggests that 14% of the population are actively considering switching their bank account.

So, perhaps, we will see a growth in current account switches – although we’ll have to wait and see whether the balance between legacy and challenger bank winners and losers changes.

If you’ve recently switched your bank account contribute to the debate and share your experience in the comments box.

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