Fewer than 2% of the UK's 70 million active personal current accounts were switched in 2016, the latest figures show – and the overall number of switches fell slightly compared with 2015. If you're not happy with your bank you can pocket more than £100 by ditching and switching.
The Current Account Switch Service (CASS) has revealed that 1,010,423 switches took place between 1 January and 31 December 2016 – a 2% fall on the 1,033,939 such switches that took place the previous year.
MoneySavingExpert.com has long championed current account switching, with our key message being that if you're consistently unhappy with your bank, you should move to a different provider.
Our Best Bank Account guide details the range of incentives switchers can get on leading accounts – from £100+ bonuses and monthly cashback to top interest rates on credit balances.
I want to switch – what are the best accounts?
If you're looking to switch and you want serious rewards for doing so, the accounts below are among the highest-paying on the market – but all of them will credit-check you, and you usually need to be a new customer using their official switching services to get the perks.
TSB Classic Plus: Switchers to TSB's Classic Plus* (via this link only) get:
- £125 free via the link above (nowt direct).
- 3% interest on up to £1,500 balances.
- 5% cashback on up to £100/mth contactless debit card spending (max £5/month) till September 2017.
To get the lot, you must switch 2+ direct debits, pay in at least £500/mth and be registered for internet banking.
First Direct: Apply via this First Direct* link and you get £125 (£100 if you apply direct). The bank's won every service poll we've done – 91% rate it 'great' – and it has a £250 0% overdraft and gives access to its 5% fixed regular savings account. You must pay in a min £1,000/mth to get the bonus and avoid its £10/mth fee.
- HSBC Advance: Switch to the HSBC Advance* account and you get £150, and another £50 if you're still with it after a year. It also gives access to a 5% fixed regular saver. To get it all you need to pay in a min £1,750/mth, switch 2+ direct debits and register for online or mobile banking within 60 days.
- The best of the rest: There are loads more, so in brief... there's a free £110 and up to £5.50/mth from Co-op Bank, a free £100 and £3/mth from Halifax and a free £50 M&S gift card and £5/mth added to it from M&S Bank. Full help and eligibility for all above in Best Bank Accounts.
Which banks have customers been switching to?
The latest bank-by-bank switching figures – for April to June 2016 – show:
- Santander was by far the most switched-to bank, with a net gain of 46,208 customers – though these gains predate its decision to slash the interest rate on its flagship 123 account.
- Nationwide and Halifax also proved to be popular choices for switchers during the quarter, with net gains of 24,999 customers and 22,101 customers respectively.
- Barclays was hardest hit by switching, as it was left with a net loss of 26,746 customers.