Current Account Switching Scorecard
Issue 321 | 11 May 2022
Winners and Losers
Since its launch in September 2013 the UK’s Current Account Switching Service (CASS) has performed a total of 8 million switches. The purpose of CASS is that by making switching our bank account hassle free a competitive market place would be created where the providers of the UK’s bank accounts will innovate, differentiate and compete for our day to day banking requirements.
With quarterly (in arrears) data published on almost all of the current account providers we can see which banks are winning the nation’s bank accounts (as measured by those that use CASS) and which banks are seeing customers transfer their day to day banking elsewhere - all helpfully listed in a “Top 20” chart for easy reference.
Our analysis of the winners and losers can be found here: Five banks and a building society triumph.
In this newsletter we focus on the performance of the Current Account Switching Service (CASS) which is operated by Pay.UK.
A total of 196,964 switches took place between January and March 2022, a 41% increase on the same period in 2021.
As previously reported the previously steady state of Current Account Switches was disrupted by the emergence of the COVID pandemic in the first half of 2020. Although the number of switches began to rise during the Autumn of 2020, the December switching level had fallen to 41,357 (a mix of seasonal and lockdown factors being the probable cause).
Disruption and recovery
While current account switches dipped again in January 2021 (31,854) and February 2021 (42,398) as Lockdown 3.0 took hold, there was a significant increase in March (63,724) as the roadmap for the COVID-19 recovery became clearer. This recovery continued throughout the remainder of 2021 as restrictions continued to ease – only falling back in December as variant restrictions increased together with the usual seasonal impact.
Activity in Q1 2022 is ahead of 2021 which is expected given the Lockdown conditions last year – in the first three months of 2022, 196,964 switches took place through the service, which is over 58,000 more than in the same quarter (January to March)in 2021:
The Current Account Switch Service has now completed 8 million switches since the launch in September 2013 and successfully redirected 120.5 million payments.
Of course, with cost-of-living rises continuing to put pressure on many households it’s more important than ever that people assess whether their existing current account is best suited to their needs. It may be that an alternative provider could offer something preferable and we would encourage those considering a switch to remember that the Current Account Switch Service is free to use, easy and guaranteed.
David Piper, Pay.UK
Q1 2022: CASS performance
The CASS insights published by Pay.UK (the operator of the switching service) show us that during Q1 2022:
196,964 switches took place between January and March 2022, a 41% increase on the same period in 2021
In the past 12 months 841,222 switches in total have been processed through the service.
Since the service launched in 2013, the system has successfully redirected more than 120.5 millionpayments seamlessly and transparently from an ‘old’ (and closed) bank account to the ‘new’ bank account. One of the early fears for the CASS service was that payments directed to the ‘old’ bank account would result in ‘lost’ payments, the development of a ‘redirection table’ has proved to be an integral part of ensuring the success of the accounts switching service.
Consumer awareness of the Current Account Switch Service was at an average of 76% through Q1.
90% of people who have used the service over the last three years are satisfied with the CASS service:
99.8% of switches have been completed within the seven working day switch timescale.
In Q1 2022 90% of CASS switchers would recommend the switching process.
Of those who have switched account, 68% say their new current account is better than their old one and only 2% say it is worse.
The top three reasons people rate their new account as better than their old account continue to be service related:
Online banking (53%) (Q4 2021 51%)
Mobile Banking (42%)(Q4 2021 41%)
Customer Service (40%) (Q4 2021 38%)
One in six (15%) current account holders are actively thinking about switching, with those who have experienced a major life event in the past year twice as likely to consider switching (22% compared to 9%).
The Current Account Switch Service’s Confidence Index achieved a score of 80% in Q1 2022. The Confidence Index is the average proportion of CASS users agreeing with each of the following four statements: ‘it would be easy for me to switch’, ‘it would be quick for me to switch’, ‘I think it is a secure and reliable process’, and ‘any problems would be dealt with effectively’..
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