UK witnesses 16% rise in current account switches

The UK Payments Council reveals that the number of Britons switching current accounts has increased by 16%

The UK Payments Council’s recent report reveals that the number of Britons switching current accounts has increased by 16% year-on-year, with 592,695 people changing banks between January and the end of June this year.

According to mid-year results published for the new Current Account Switch Service, over two-thirds of people (67%) in the UK are now aware of the service – up from 64% at the start of 2014.

The report also highlights that during the same half year period customer confidence in the new service remained high, increasing slightly from 63% to 65%.

There are approximately 49 million current accounts in the UK, which means that approximately 1.2% customers with current accounts switched banks in the six months to June.

The Payments Council chief executive, Adrian Kamellard, said: “The Current Account Switch Service set out to remove the fear-factor from switching and these results suggest that it is doing exactly that. Awareness and confidence levels are up as individuals, small businesses and charities are getting the message that switching has become easy and straightforward.”

“Competition is growing as existing providers are upping their offerings and challenger banks are competing to attract new customers. This all amounts to greater choice and good news for customers”, Kamellard added.

The Current Account Switch Service is free to use and can be completed in seven working days, compared with the previous process that could take between 18 and 30 working days.

The new Current Account Switch Guarantee ensures that customers will receive a refund of interest and charges on both their old and new current accounts if anything goes wrong with the switch.