Current account switching numbers jump to two-year high

The number of current account holders ditching and switching their bank or building society has jumped to a two-year high, figures show.

During the first three months of 2018 more than 273,000 switches were recorded, according to payments body Bacs, which oversees the seven-day current account switch service.

Bacs said this was the highest quarterly total since the first quarter of 2016 and a 10% increase on the same period in 2017.

The recent high levels of switching are likely to have been driven by broader bank market activity, such as the advertising of switching incentives, supported by a high-profile advertising campaign launched in January, according to the report.

The report also showed the gains and losses made by banks and building societies from people using the current account switch service between July 1 and September 30 2017.

They show Halifax and Nationwide Building Society were particularly big winners during this period, making large net customer gains.

Tesco Bank also made net customer gains, as did TSB - which has apologised this week for IT issues which left online customers unable to access their money and some able to see other people's accounts.

The figures are provided voluntarily by banks and building societies and do not include switches made outside the scheme, which was launched in 2013 to make it easier for people, small businesses and small charities to move providers.

This week has also seen competition stepped up further in the current account market, with First Direct launching a range of new freebies for customers to switch.

Bacs said more than 4.7 million successful switches have taken place since the service launched in 2013.

Here are the net customer gains or losses made by current account providers in the third quarter of 2017:

- AIB Group UK (includes First Trust Bank and Allied Irish Bank GB brand switches), minus 1,915
- Bank of Ireland (includes Post Office brand switches), minus 426
- Bank of Scotland, minus 31
- Barclays, minus 15,252
- Clydesdale Bank (includes Yorkshire Bank brand switches), minus 6,779
- Co-operative (includes Smile brand switches), minus 6,627
- Danske, minus 78
- Halifax, 29,208
- HSBC (includes First Direct and Marks & Spencer Bank brand switches), minus 470
- Lloyds Bank, minus 10,192
- Nationwide Building Society, 26,003
- NatWest, minus 16,583
- RBS (includes Adam & Company, Coutts and Isle of Man brand switches), minus 7,707
- Santander, minus 86
- Tesco Bank, 1,130
- TSB, 7,654
- Ulster Bank, minus 702

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