More than 900,000 current accounts have been switched in the last 12 months – a drop of 14% compared with the previous year.
The latest Current Account Switch Service figures show that there were 909,186 switches between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2017, equating to just over 1% of the 70 million active current accounts in the UK. The number switched in the previous 12 months was 1,056,378.
Under the scheme, a switch takes seven working days and all payments going in and out, except for recurring payments set up with a debit card such as a gym membership, will be moved to your new account. Any wrongly applied charges, eg, for a missed direct debit, will be refunded.
More than 3.9 million switches have taken place since the scheme launched in 2013, and the number is expected to top four million by the end of July. Bacs, which manages the switch service, says that 99.5% of switches are completed within the seven working day timescale it aims for.
See how to switch bank and our current top picks in our Best Bank Accounts guide.
Which banks are people switching to and from?
The stats also give switching figures for individual banks and building societies in the final quarter of 2016. Over that period, Nationwide took the switching crown with a net gain of 30,510 (39,075 new switchers and 8,565 losses), pushing Halifax into second place with a net gain of 14,117 (40,869 new switchers and 26,752 losses).
One of the biggest losers was Santander, which went from a net gain of 26,196 in the third quarter of 2016 to a net loss of 7,322 over the following three months. This loss is likely largely due to the fact it slashed the interest earned on its popular 123 account from November 2016.
In terms of overall losses, Barclays once again took the wooden spoon, posting a net loss of 16,779 (6,308 new switchers and 23,087 losses) in the final quarter of 2016, though it did better than its net loss of 21,008 in the preceding quarter.
The full results are:
Top banks for current account switches in Q4 2016
|Bank of Scotland||3,689||3,346||343|
|Bank of Ireland||231||802||-571|
|Lower volume participants, ie, banks with fewer switches (1)||875||502||373|
|(1) Arbuthnot Latham, C Hoare & Co, Commerzbank, Cumberland Building Society, Duncan Lawrie, Hampden & Co, Investec, Reliance Bank, Triodos Bank, Virgin Money and Weatherbys Bank.|