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Current account switches fell 10% in 2015


The number of people switching bank accounts fell by 10% last year, despite high profile campaigns aimed at encouraging people to switch.

Payment system operator Bacs published figures showing that 1.03 million people changed their current account provider last year, compared to 1.15 million in 2014.

The Current Account Switching Service (CASS) was created in 2013 to help increase competition in the current account market and promote better deals for consumers. The service has claimed that although switching rates were low throughout the year, they improved by 11% in the last quarter of 2015 as a result of their media campaign.

Santander, Halifax, Nationwide and Tesco all gained customers through the new current account switching service last year. Santander saw the greatest increase, with 66,000 new accounts opened over the course of 2015, despite them increasing the monthly fee on their 123 current account, which offers 3% interest, from £2 to £5. Halifax offers customers £100 to switch, Tesco offers Clubcard points and 3% interest on balances and Nationwide customers can get 5% interest on balances up to £2,500.

Barclays, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds all lost customers.

Richard Neudegg, head of regulation at said:
"Despite 2015 seeing some of the best financial incentives for switchers, many still struggle to see the value in switching.
"The banks need to up their game and do more to help their customers understand their current account usage by prompting them with clear information."

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