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Confidence in challenger banks growing, new switching figures suggest

By Vicky Shaw, Press Association Personal Finance Correspondent
Challenger brands such as Monzo, Starling Bank, Triodos Bank and Tesco Bank have made net gains of customers using the seven-day switch service.

Consumer confidence in challenger banks is continuing to grow, the latest current account switching figures suggest.

Some 265,195 switches were completed using the seven-day current account switch service (Cass), which is designed to take the hassle out of moving banks, in the first quarter of 2019.

Figures released voluntarily by banks and building societies and published by payments body Pay.UK also show that in the fourth quarter of this year, Nationwide Building Society made the biggest net gains of customers switching to it, followed by HSBC and NatWest.

Several challenger banks also recorded net switching gains, including Monzo and Starling Bank.

Ethical bank Triodos also made net switching gains, as did Tesco Bank.

TSB, which suffered an IT meltdown last year, made a net loss of over 17,000 switches, as did Halifax.

The figures do not include switches made by customers who did not use Cass and so do not reflect all current account switches.

Pay.UK’s report said Monzo and Starling’s net gains showed “the continuation of a growth in consumer confidence in challenger banks”.

Consumer research for the report also found that people aged under 35 were three times as likely to actively think about switching than those aged over 55.

Major financial life events such as buying a property or starting a new job were among the triggers to make people consider switching, with overdraft usage being another consideration when people were thinking about changing banks.

Here are the net gains/losses made by customers using Cass in the fourth quarter of 2018 – the figures take account of customers switching to a provider and those switching away from it: 

AIB Group UK (includes First Trust Bank and Allied Irish Bank (GB) brand switches), minus 806
Bank of Ireland (includes Post Office brand switches), minus 584
Bank of Scotland, minus 1,327
Barclays, minus 6,398
Clydesdale Bank (includes Yorkshire Bank brand switches), minus 5,896
Co-operative (includes Smile brand switches), minus 7,961
Danske, minus 393
Halifax, minus 17,367
HSBC (includes First Direct and Marks & Spencer Bank brand switches), 31,389
Lloyds Bank, minus 10,459
Monzo, 5,953
Nationwide Building Society, 36,327
NatWest, 6,467
RBS (includes Adam & Company, Coutts and Isle of Man brand switches), minus 11,381
Santander, minus 3,969
Starling Bank, 3,726
Tesco Bank, 101
Triodos Bank, 216
TSB, minus 17,492
Ulster Bank, minus 683