200,000 Brits ditch their current accounts – here’s where they’ve gone instead

More than 200,000 people switched their main bank account between July and September 2018, new figures show – and digital banks were the biggest winners.

That’s according to the latest current account switching report, that shows thousands of people chose to take their business elsewhere – with many choosing to ditch the high street altogether for online-only banks instead.

It comes just a week after Santander announced plans to pull the plug on 140 branches, claiming the number of people using its face-to-face facilities has reached a record low.

The latest current account switching report found customers of Britain’s leading lenders are increasingly using the seven-day switch to move to mobile banking challengers such as Monzo and Starling Bank, instead.

Between July and September, 235,648 account moves were successfully completed by customers who felt it was time to move on.

The Cooperative and Allied Irish Bank suffered the highest losses over the three months, with the first losing 14 customers for every one gained while AIB lost 12 for every one.

However of the major lenders, TSB suffered the biggest loss, after high-profile problems last year left people locked out of their accounts. The Bank made a net loss of 16,142 switches during the period, equivalent to almost 10 customers lost for every one gained.

NatWest, RBS, Halifax, Lloyds Bank and Barclays were also among those who recorded net switching losses between July and September.

Meanwhile, Nationwide Building Society, Tesco, HSBC and Santander were among the "winners" in terms of customers using Cass to move accounts during the period.

However Monzo Bank, the one "that lives on your smartphone", gained the most for every one customer lost at 25:1.

While, Starling Bank, which describes its service as "banking built for mobile living" gained 2,116 switches overall.

A spokeswoman for TSB said that, in the third quarter of 2018, approximately 22,000 customers opened a new bank account with it or switched their account to it.

She said: "Customers do not solely need to use the switching service – they can open a new bank account with us via our branch network or online."

What is the Current Account Switch Service?

Launched in 2013, the scheme was introduced to simplify the switching process for consumers.

It allows you to transfer over your bank account in one, simple, seven-day step.

More than 40 banks and building societies are now part of the service and over 99% of UK current accounts are covered. The switchover includes your direct debits and standing orders, too.

To switch, you’ll have to open a new current account and choose a date. Your new bank or building society will then take care of the rest.

The Switch Guarantee also means that if in the unlikely event that something goes wrong, any interest or charges you incur as a result will be refunded.

Thinking about switching? Find out about the bank accounts you can get paid to join, here.

Biggest winners

These are the top performers based on how many customers were gained for each account closed.

Monzo Bank: 25

Triodos Bank: 14

Starling Bank: 9.6

Nationwide: 4.6

Tesco Bank: 1.75

HSBC: 1.75

Santander: 1.46

Bank of Scotland: 1.44

Biggest losers

These are the worst performers based on how many customers lost for each account gained.

Cooperative: 14

AIB Group (UK): 12

TSB: 9.6

Bank of Ireland: 4.2

Clydesdale Bank: 3.6

Ulster Bank: 3.25

RBS: 2.8

NatWest: 2.3

Danske: 1.5

Barclays: 1.49

Lloyds Bank: 1.4

Halifax: 1.3

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