Switched off to the second switch

Latest research from our finance team has discovered that for many of us, once you switch bank account for the first time, you’re very likely to stop shopping around and not switch again.
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The elusive second switch

Our survey revealed that of those current account holders who had ever switched bank account, only 41% had gone on to switch a second time or more, with most people (59%) switching and then switching off. That’s despite the possibility of better interest rates, offers and benefits available elsewhere on the market.

Switched off to the second switch

Reasons for switching

There are many reasons why it’s a good idea to switch current account, and we found many people agreed with us in our survey. Of those who had made at least one switch, 39% did so in order to take advantage of better benefits and rewards from other providers, 29% switched in search of higher interest rates and 28% said they were looking for better customer service from their bank. When asked about the switching process, 67% said that they found it easy and 44% said it went without a hitch – a promising start.

reason for switching bank accounts

Current Account Switch Service

The Current Account Switch Service (CASS) has made it easier than ever before to make the switch. It covers 99% of UK current accounts and it guarantees that the process of switching your current account to a new provider only takes seven working days. Your new bank or building society works with your existing provider to automatically transfer all of your outgoings and inbound payments, as well as any leftover balance, so you don’t have to lift a finger.

It also means that you don’t lose out if anything goes wrong as any interest lost or charges will be refunded. And, for 36 months after the switch, any payments sent to your old account will be automatically redirected to your new account.

CASS announced that there were 802,036 switches between January and October 2016 – a 3% increase compared to same period in 2015.** However, while it’s great to hear that so many people are benefiting, we found that that 62% of UK current account holders still haven’t taken advantage of this and have never switched bank at all, equating to over 30.6 million adults nationwide.*** Do you know what you’re missing out on?

Switched off to a better deal?

It seems that there are a few reasons why you’re being held back from switching; three quarters (75%) said they were happy with their current provider, 17% had never considered switching and nearly one in ten (9%) said the process seemed too complicated. But while so many say they’re happy with their provider – it may be that you’re just not aware of the deals that are available to you.

It’s always a good idea to bear in mind that banks and building societies make changes to their products fairly regularly, and bring out different offers throughout the year, meaning that you may not be getting the best deal anymore. Having a look at what’s out there every now and again could mean that you’re not missing out.

reasons not to switch bank accounts
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Jody Coughlan

Head of Money


“Once you’ve changed your current account, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you’ll remain on the best deal in the market. It seems that those who do switch their bank have a tendency to switch and then switch off, meaning they may be missing more competitive offers elsewhere. It’s advisable to check regularly what other providers are offering, in terms of interest rates or benefits, so you can rest assured you remain on the best deal for you.”

So if there’s a chance you could benefit from a second switch (or even your first!), why not take a look at our current account tables  and compare accounts based on what’s most important to you. You could get more than you bargained for. 

A survey of 2099 adults conducted by Populus and commissioned by comparethemarket.com from 20 to 22 December 2016.


*** Office for National Statistics estimates indicate that there are 50,909,098 adults in the UK. The Financial Inclusion Annual Monitoring Report 2015 found that there are 1,500,000 adults without bank accounts, meaning there are 49,409,098 UK adults with bank accounts. 62% of which equals 30,633,640 adult account holders who have never switched bank account.

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