The number of current account customers switching banks is on the up, despite the fact that of the UK's 68 million current accounts, fewer than 1% were switched during the opening six months of 2016.
According to the latest figures for the Current Account Switch Service, 567,677 bank switches took place in the first half of the year. That's up 4% compared with the first half of 2015, but only 0.8% of the total number of UK current accounts.
Over the 12-month period from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016 just over a million switches took place, while more than three million current accounts have been switched since the switching scheme was launched in 2013.
The most recent data released by payments body Bacs shows that Halifax eclipsed Santander as the most switched-to bank in the fourth quarter of 2015 – a result that may be attributed to the fee hike on Santander's flagship 123 account.
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Which banks are people switching to and from?
Today's stats show that Halifax and Nationwide have gained significant ground in the battle to win current account customers' business.
In the last quarter of 2015, Halifax gained a net 31,181 customers (57,523 new customers and 26,342 losses) and Nationwide gained a net 26,150 (37,640 new customers and 11,490 losses).
On the flip side, Barclays was by far the worst performing bank, with a net loss of 27,064 customers. And Santander suffered a spectacular fall from grace, gaining a net 3,592 customers in the last quarter of 2015, compared with a whopping 51,002 the previous quarter.
Santander's 123 account has previously proved popular as it pays cashback on household bills as well as 3% interest on balances of £3,000 to £20,000, but in January this year Santander increased the fee on the account from £2 to £5 a month. The plans were announced in September 2015, which may explain the fall.
Here's the Bacs list in full:
Top banks for current account switches in Q4 2015
|Bank of Ireland||351||681||-330|
|Bank of Scotland||2,479||3,658||-1,179|
|Lower volume participants, ie, banks with fewer switches (1)||691||543||148|
|(1) C Hoare & Co, Cumberland Building Society, Duncan Lawrie, Hampden & Co, Reliance Bank, Weatherbys Bank and Virgin Money.|