Current Account Switches Up 22%
Bank accounts; almost everyone has one. They’re almost a staple requirement in everyday life with people needing them so that they can get paid from their job, to make direct debit payments and so the list goes on.
Well, after the launch of a new switching initiative last year, over 1.2 million people have switched their current accounts from one bank or building society to another.
The new scheme that was launched was meant to make switching easier for customers and it would seem that there are two banks that are benefitting from this new service.
The free “current account switch service” went live in September of last year and the first lot of data has been released by the Payments Council.
The data shows that from October 1st 2013 to September 30 2014, a total of 1,203,334 switches took place which is a 22% increase on the 985,600 current accounts which were switched during the previous 12 months.
The Winners and The Losers
There are two banks that benefitted the most from this are Halifax and Santander. The Spanish owned bank, Santander from January 1st to March 31st 2014, gained 60,882 new accounts but the lost 23,566 and it was a similar story for the other big winner, Halifax. They gained 65,636 new accounts but lost 24,078.
There are three banks who took quite a beating when it comes to the accounts gained and the accounts lost. Lloyds notched up quite a big amount of new accounts with 60,877 joining them but the fact that 76,079 left them renders their gains useless.
The Co-operative Bank are trying to regain the trust of the general public with their products and services being caught up in a large scandal last year they only gained a total of 4,463 new accounts but lost many, many more than that; 12,315.
Finally, there were two major losers in this period. Two of the larger banks in this country, two banks who can’t afford to keep making losses after their fines for mis-selling PPI. They are Barclays and NatWest.
Barclays gained 10,947 new accounts but they lost almost three times that amount with 27,414 leaving them and it wasn’t any better for NatWest who gained 11,482 new accounts but saw 29,740 customers leave them.
Pros and Cons
There are some very obvious pros to having a bank account. Some of which we mentioned earlier like being able to pay direct debits, you get paid into them. It’s a safe way of handling your money and you can see all of your incomings and outgoings.
Well, there are also some not so obvious cons to having a bank account. For example, are you paying a monthly fee for your account? Well, we estimate that a majority of packaged bank accounts have been mis-sold.
If you don’t know what a packaged bank account is, then it’s worth doing a bit of reading if you’re looking at switching your account as bank staff are known to be pushy when it comes to selling these accounts.
Pushy Sales Staff
They will try and sell you the benefits, more often than not they include ‘free’ breakdown cover, ‘free’ mobile phone insurance to name just a couple. The cost for these accounts depends on the one that you opt for and the bank that you’re with as it can range from a small monthly fee of £5 or can be as much as £30 a month.
Other things to look out for are being told that getting one of these accounts can help you to get a mortgage in the future. This isn’t true at all and it counts as mis-selling.
So, if after reading this you didn’t know that there were other options for a current account or if you were told that you would stand a better chance of getting a mortgage in future with one of these accounts or if you quite simply weren’t aware that you were paying a monthly fee for your bank account, why wait around?
Start your claim with the experts today, just fill in the form on this page and we’ll launch your packaged bank account claim today.