Current account switches fall as social distancing measures introduced

Today (30 July 2020) Pay.UK have published the Q2 2020 Current Account Switch Service (CASS) dashboard.

Pay.UK’s headline provides the first insight into how the COVID19 pandemic has impacted the number of people choosing to switch their bank account – “Current account switches fall as social distancing measures introduced, almost 100,000 still switch in Q2 2020”.

The quarterly dashboard provides two levels of insights – high level performance of the CASS service over Q2 2020 and the service participants performance over Q1 2020 (i.e. a quarter in arrears).

Q2 2020: CASS performance

Whilst we will have to wait a further three months to see how the COVID19 pandemic impacted account switches over individual banks the Q2 CASS service data provides some interesting insights:

  • Just 98,292 current account switches were performed in Q2 2020 (down from 182,328 in Q1 2020 and a 65% reduction on Q2 2018.
  • Awareness of and satisfaction in CASS remains consistently high (81% and 92% respectively).
  • It is possible that the pandemic played a part in choosing a new bank as customer service (38%) and online banking offering (43%) were cited as the most popular reasons to switch bank account.
  • Despite the challenges experienced during COVID the CASS participants managed to achieve a 7 day switch service level of 99.5%.
  • 69% of people surveyed stated that they preferred their new bank.
  • The split between ‘personal’ and ‘small business’ banks account switches increased to 90% / 10% (‘small business switches often account for circa 5%).

Q1 2020: Participant performance

Pay.UK publish participant CASS data a quarter in arrears so today’s release provides insight to the pre pandemic world of Q1 2020.

Source: Pay.UK

Despite this the figures published by Pay.UK show that only 7 of the 49 banks and building societies experienced a net gain in accounts and 2 of these were for small numbers (Ulster Bank at 155 and Triodos Bank at 489).

The Q1 2020 CASS “roll of honour” (net gains): goes to:

  1. HSBC: 33,994
  2. Nationwide: 22,993
  3. Monzo: 19,049
  4. NatWest: 15,681
  5. Starling: 15,153

However, at bank group level Nat West fall out of the top winners (Nat West and Ulster were net gainers but RBS saw a net reduction). By this calculation Starling Bank would rise to 4th place.

5 banks saw a net reduction of accounts exceeding 10,000 accounts, a further 4 saw a net reduction of over 1,000 accounts and a further 4 saw a net reduction of below 1,000 accounts.

Participants with low volumes of current accounts saw an aggregated net loss in accounts.

So, for Q1 2020, 7 banks saw a net gain and 13 participants saw a net loss (excluding low volume participants).

Next dashboard

The publication of the participant data for the 98,292 current account switches conducted in the midst of the COVID19 pandemic will be eagerly anticipated – amidst of the pandemic which banks did we / could we choose to switch to?

We will have to wait three months to find out!

Source: Pay.UK CASS Dashboard Q2 2020.

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