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Santander the winners in account switchers

I blogged a bit already about account switching, and how customer lethargy meant that it wasn’t really happening. 

Account switching rules came into force on 16th September, and the new rules mean that it takes just seven days to move accounts and all incoming and outgoing payments have to switch with the account automatically.  If there are any problems, the new bank account provider is held responsible.

Sounds good, but I asked whether people were bothered as research shows that 98% fo consumers couldn’t care.

I then found a fascinating tracker of account switching stats from TNS Global that may prove me a little bit wrong.

Their research, based upon over 38,000 interviews with current account holders, found that the number of people switching since the rules applied have increased by 8%, from 35% switching in Q4 versus 27% the previous quarter.

TNS Global are tracking account switching and which banks are winners and losers in the process, and it looks like Santander is doing a pretty good job of convincing people to change.

Meanwhile, the traditional high street banks are losers, especially HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest and Barclays.

What is particularly interesting is the graphs.

Here are the charts for November:

TNS November

Santander net gain of 12% whilst HSBC net loss of 7%, Lloyds 6%, Barclays 4% and NatWest 3%.


TNS October

And September:

TNS September

A key part of the change is the awareness of people about the new rules for switching:

TNS Awareness

And the fact that if you are fed up with poor customer service, then that’s a very good reason for leaving or joining a bank.

TNS Reasons


About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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  • Joe Wilson

    Not sure I reach the same conclusion from these statistics.
    It seems to me that the net gainers, Santander and Nationwide, are the ones paying the highest offers on linked savings accounts at a time when savings rates are terrible.
    There is no evidence that ‘winning’ these customers will be profitable in the long term or that they won’t be as quick to switch away when offers are removed.
    Personally I feel Natwest and Lloyds won’t lose too much sleep over losing some in credit and less profitable current account customers at the same time as they are still deleveraging and can borrow cheap money via the FLS.
    This seems to be more a short term zero sum price war than a genuine improvement in competition or benefit from the new switching regime.

  • Fritz Thomas Klein

    I am convinced that a bank funding itself consistently, irrespective of short term market conditions, via its own customers is more stable and will do better than banks without such funding. History has proven this over and over again. So the ones not worried about this will be (again) the problem banks longer term.

  • Probably the stat that made the most impression was the fact that the main reason for switching was the 22% of people (leading reason)who moved because of a local branch /opening hours.
    Perhaps a break down of which brands saw people switch because of this fact would be the most illuminating brand stat, especially given the large sample of respondents. Indeed the branch would appear to play a bigger part of the current account package than many bank-watchers may have expected.
    Research by GfK for JGFR (just before faster switching came into effect in September) found 7% of customers of the main financial services providers (aka top 10 banking brands)are likely to switch (2% very likely). One interesting finding is that people seeking new mortgages (18%) were more likely to switch suggesting that good mortgage offers (linked to branch advice?) and boosted by Funding for Lending are a driver of switching behaviour
    Over the 10 years + of the JGFR/GfK UK Banking Barometer Lloyds TSB and Barclays dominate as the two leading MFSPs, although the separation of Lloyds Bank and TSB has resulted in Lloyds TSB losing share but still retaining pole position. Santander, RBS and TSB have the most customers likely to switch (albeit on small samples)