Current account switching levels dipped year-on-year across 2017

The number of current accounts being moved to a different provider fell by 7% annually in 2017, figures from the seven-day switching service show.

Across 2017, there were 931,956 switches, compared with 1,010,423 switches in the previous 12 months - a fall of over 78,000.

There was, however, a spike in switches in November 2017, when 110,774 accounts were switched - the highest figure since March 2016, according to Bacs, which oversees the service.

Bacs said consumer awareness about the service also hit a new high in October, following a recent publicity drive, with 84% of people surveyed saying they had heard of the current account switch service.

The service to make it easier for people, small businesses and charities to ditch and switch their current account provider, was launched in 2013.

Since then, there have been nearly 4.5 million successful switches.

The scheme has cut the length of time it takes to switch from up to 30 working days previously to seven working days.

Payments are automatically moved over to the new account and those accidentally made to or requested from the old account are automatically redirected. Customers are also guaranteed not to be left out of pocket if anything goes wrong with the switch.

The latest figures also show the net switching gains and losses made by providers between the start of April and the end of June. The figures do not include switches made where customers did not use the current account switch service.

Nationwide Building Society, TSB, HSBC and Tesco Bank were among the biggest "winners" of customers using the switching service in the latest period, the figures suggest.

NatWest, Barclays, Halifax, Lloyds Bank, RBS, Santander and the Co-op were among those who made net losses.

In February 2017, Tesco Bank announced it would guarantee its current account customers a 3% interest rate for the next two years, bucking a more general trend of perks being slashed.

Santander, which has previously been seen as one of the major "winners" of the current account switch service by making significant net switching gains, is among a string of providers, also including Lloyds and Halifax, which have cut their rates or reduced their perks.

In August 2016, Santander announced it was halving a rate on its flagship 123 current account, from 3% to 1.5%.

Previous figures have shown that between April 1 and June 30 2016, Santander's net switching gain was 46,208.

Nationwide Building Society continues to offer customers 5% on balances up to £2,500 for the first 12 months.

Earlier this month saw the launch of open banking, an initiative designed to make it easier eventually for people to find financial products that better suit their needs.

The launch of open banking follows a probe by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) which found older and bigger banks do not have to compete hard enough for customers' business.

Here are the net gains/losses made by banks and building societies in terms of current account switches between April 1 and June 30 2017. Figures do not include switches made outside the current account switch service:

AIB Group (UK) plc (includes First Trust Bank and Allied Irish Bank switches), minus 1,915
Bank of Ireland (includes Post Office brand switches), minus 239
Bank of Scotland, 866
Barclays, minus 10,164
Clydesdale Bank (includes Yorkshire Bank brand switches), minus 9,456
Co-operative (includes Smile brand switches), minus 12,710
Danske, 79
Halifax, minus 7,840
HSBC (includes First Direct and Marks & Spencer brand switches), 4,927
Lloyds Bank, minus 4,774
Nationwide, 38,626
NatWest, minus 13,826
RBS (includes Adam & Company, Coutts and Isle of Man brand switches), minus 7,506
Santander, minus 88
Tesco Bank, 1,244
TSB, 20,120
Ulster Bank, minus 545

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