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Six per cent of customers have moved bank account since introduction of new switching rules

16 July 2014
  • 41% of people who switched were attracted by better deals from other banks
  • Over a quarter (26%) changed banks because of poor service from their old provider
  • Only 19% hadn’t heard of new bank account switching service guarantee
  • 77% of those that had switched said the process was easy

In the nine months since the banking industry’s seven-day account switching rules came into force, 6% of customers have switched their current account according to new research released today. And, of those making the switch, the survey revealed that 77% said the process was easy.

The research, commissioned by comparison website Gocompare.com, also found that 15% of respondents were considering changing accounts, while only 19% hadn’t heard of the new seven-day switching rules and guarantee.

When asked what had motivated them to switch accounts:

  • 41% said that they had done so to get a better deal on their account;
  • 34% were motivated by incentives offered by a different bank;
  • Over a quarter (26%) moved their custom following poor service from their old bank;
  • 11% switched to take advantage of better online or mobile banking facilities;
  • 7% said the switch was promoted by the new seven-day switching rules.

The survey also asked people who hadn’t switched bank accounts in recent months why they had stayed with their existing provider:

  • 65% hadn’t switched because they were happy with their existing provider;
  • 23% couldn’t see how they would benefit from doing so;
  • 23% said there wasn’t enough of an incentive to change banks;
  • 12% thought that despite the new rules, it was too much hassle.

The top three triggers which would motivate people to switch their current account in the future were:

  • A better deal (31%);
  • Poor service from their existing bank (30%);
  • Incentives offered by other banks (26%);
  • Only 2% would switch just because of the new rules.

Matt Sanders, Gocompare.com’s banking spokesman, said: “The new seven-day hassle-free turnaround is making it easier for people to move their bank or building society account and, undoubtedly many people will save themselves money by switching accounts.  Since the introduction of the new rules, we’ve seen banks and building societies offering a range of incentives - from a £125 switching bonus to cashback cards - to entice new customers through the door.  And, as our survey shows, many people find these offers of ‘free money’ attractive and are switching accounts.

“Customers shouldn’t just look at the headline offer to switch but, should take time to look at what the account offers to make sure that it meets their needs.  For example, if you always go into the red before the end of the month, an account with good overdraft terms would probably be better for you than one that offers a good rate of interest on any surplus cash built up in the account.”

For more information on switching current accounts visit: http://www.gocompare.com/current-accounts/switching-bank-accounts/

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Notes to editors

*On 11th July 2014, an online survey was conducted among 2,032 randomly selected British adults age 18+ who are also Springboard United Kingdom Community members. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.2%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current data on age, gender, region, and education from the most recent census data, to ensure the sample is representative of the entire adult population of the UK. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.