196,964 switches took place between January and March 2022, a 41% increase on the same period in 2021

In this latest dashboard, we find out how many of us transferred our bank account in Q1 2022 and who the switching winners and losers were in Q4 2021.

The number of switches during 2022

As previously reported the previously steady state of Current Account Switches was disrupted by the emergence of the COVID pandemic in the first half of 2020. Although the number of switches began to rise during the Autumn of 2020, the December switching level had fallen to 41,357 (a mix of seasonal and lockdown factors being the probable cause).

Source: Pay.UK

While current account switches dipped again in January 2021 (31,854) and February 2021 (42,398) as Lockdown 3.0 took hold, there was a significant increase in March (63,724) as the roadmap for the COVID-19 recovery became clearer. This recovery continued throughout the remainder of 2021 as restrictions continued to ease – only falling back in December as variant restrictions increased together with the usual seasonal impact.

Source: Pay.UK

Activity in Q1 2022 is ahead of 2021 which is expected given the Lockdown conditions last year – in the first three months of 2022, 196,964 switches took place through the service, which is over 58,000 more than in the same quarter (January to March)in 2021:

Source: Pay.UK

The Current Account Switch Service has now completed 8 million switches since the launch in September 2013 and successfully redirected 120.5 million payments.

“Of course, with cost-of-living rises continuing to put pressure on many households it’s more important than ever that people assess whether their existing current account is best suited to their needs. It may be that an alternative provider could offer something preferable and we would encourage those considering a switch to remember that the Current Account Switch Service is free to use, easy and guaranteed.”

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

Q1 2022: CASS performance

The CASS insights published by Pay.UK (the operator of the switching service) show us that during Q1 2022:

Source: Pay.UK
  • 196,964 switches took place between January and March 2022, a 41% increase on the same period in 2021
  • In the past 12 months 841222 switches in total have been processed through the service.
  • Since the service launched in 2013, the system has successfully redirected more than 120.5 million payments seamlessly and transparently from an ‘old’ (and closed) bank account to the ‘new’ bank account. One of the early fears for the CASS service was that payments directed to the ‘old’ bank account would result in ‘lost’ payments, the development of a ‘redirection table’ has proved to be an integral part of ensuring the success of the accounts switching service.
  • Consumer awareness of the Current Account Switch Service was at an average of 76% through Q1.
Source: Pay.UK
  • 90% of people who have used the service over the last three years are satisfied with the CASS service:
Source: Pay.UK
  • 99.8% of switches have been completed within the seven working day switch timescale.
  • In Q1 2022 90% of CASS switchers would recommend the switching process.
  • Of those who have switched account, 68% say their new current account is better than their old one and only 2% say it is worse.
  • The top three reasons people rate their new account as better than their old account continue to be service related:
    • Online banking (53%) (Q4 2021 51%)
    • Mobile Banking (42%)(Q4 2021 41%)
    • Customer Service (40%) (Q4 2021 38%)
  • One in six (15%) current account holders are actively thinking about switching, with those who have experienced a major life event in the past year twice as likely to consider switching (22% compared to 9%).
  • The Current Account Switch Service’s Confidence Index achieved a score of 80% in Q1 2022. 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’..

Q4 2021: Participant performance

Pay.UK publish participant CASS data a quarter in arrears so the latest data provides an insight to switches completed in Q4 2021:

Source: Pay.UK
  • Of the 47 brand participants 6 brands recorded a net gain of accounts (note: a number of brands are included in a catch all ‘low value participant’ category which recorded 378 gains and 1202 losses so it is possible that an individual brand or two made a small net gain).

Q4 CASS winners and losers by brand

Pay.UK publish the winners and losers information in alphabetical order but sorting based on net gains/losses provides an interesting picture of winners and losers on an individual brand level:

  1. Santander: +36494
  2. Nationwide: +33691
  3. Starling Bank: +10364
  4. Monzo Bank Limited: +3068
  5. Triodos Bank: +642
  6. Danske: +98
  7. Ulster Bank: -133
  8. Bank of Scotland: -140
  9. Halifax: -342
  10. Bank of Ireland: -562
  11. RBS : -1435
  12. NatWest: -1804
  13. AIB Group (UK) p.l.c.: -2181
  14. Lloyds Bank: -2677
  15. Co-operative: -4235
  16. Virgin Money: -8367
  17. Barclays: -11669
  18. TSB: -13911
  19. HSBC: -14875
  20. Tesco Bank: -20278

Q4 CASS winners and losers by banking group

Pay.UK publish the winners and losers information in alphabetical order by brand but sorting based on net gains / losses by banking group has previously provided a different picture. However for Q4 the top three by group are again unchanged – i.e.

  1. Santander: +36494
  2. Nationwide: +33691
  3. Starling Bank Limited: +10364

At the other end of the table the picture is also unchanged by group:

19. HSBC: -14875
20. Tesco Bank: -20278

Net end user inflows are typically influenced by customer switching incentives and, in recent times, a need for many end users to switch away from Tesco and M&S, which closed their current account offerings.

Tesco Bank exited the Current Account Switch Service in the final quarter of 2021. This will be the final dashboard with Tesco Bank reflected in this table.

Conclusion

The steady state of Current Account Switches was disrupted by the emergence of the COVID pandemic in the first half of 2020. Although the number of switches began to rise during the Autumn, the December switching levels fell to 41,357 (a mix of seasonal and lockdown factors are the probable cause of this dip). While current account switches dipped in January 2021 (31,854) and February 2021 (42,398), there was a significant increase in March 2021 (63,724) as the roadmap for the COVID-19 recovery became clearer and this continued throughout 2021.

The differing conditions are reflected in Q1 2022 with 196,964 switches taking place between January and March 2022, a 41% increase on the same period in 2021.

The top three reasons to switch (online banking, mobile banking and customer service) continue to point to current account providers having a strong digital offering as is evidenced in the league table above.

The key service factors of the CASS service of the 7 day switch guarantee, consumer awareness, consumer confidence and account redirection have all performed highly during Q4. This is evidenced by the 90% of people who have used the service over the last three years being satisfied with the CASS service.

With 15% of current account holders actively considering switching, the service performance and consumer satisfaction point to the likelihood that the CASS service will continue to play its part in stimulating a competitive current account market in the UK.