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Current Account Switch Service reports higher uptake, but customer inertia continues to be a drag

Source: CASS

The Current Account Switch Service again achieved all its regulatory KPIs in 2022, while the total number of current accounts switched across the year was 986,956, as outlined in its Annual Report published today.

The Service has now facilitated more than 8 million switches since its launch in 2013, just under 10 years ago.

With the economic climate, particularly in the second half of the year, causing a significant financial squeeze on consumers, the Service increasingly focussed on how the rising cost of living would impact the motivations behind switching. As a result, the Service concentrated its efforts on groups that could benefit the most from switching, conducting a large-scale marketing campaign in September 2022 to engage the financially vulnerable, 18-24 year olds and Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). Over the course of the year the Service also conducted a mass-audience and digital campaign targeting those who were considering switching. These campaigns demonstrated the ease of switching through the Service and enabled it to prioritise key target groups while also effectively reaching the wider public.

The Current Account Switch Service also continued its commitment to issue new research insights with the publication of ‘Eight million switches: making changing bank accounts simple and stress-free’. This work, a summary of collected research and analysis into consumer banking habits over the last decade, was conducted in order for the Service to better understand its audience and their needs. The research revealed a number of key findings, including that the pandemic accelerated a digital channel shift for end users; 24% of end users reduced their use of branches, while 32% increased their use of mobile banking. The paper also showed that 80% of people have not changed the way they view their bank or started using other providers as a result of the pandemic, pointing towards customer inertia remaining high.

The Current Account Switch Service plays a vital role in helping consumers and businesses make the most of their money by providing a secure and reliable way to move their current account, should they wish to. In the near decade since the Current Account Switch Service was founded, the Service has expanded to include 47 high street and digital banks and building societies and facilitated almost 9 million switches since launch. In the current era of rising inflation and the pressures resulting from the rising cost of living, the Service continues to be as important as ever.

The Current Account Switch Service successfully met all of its regulatory KPIs in 2022: 99% of switches were completed within 7 working days and customer satisfaction averaged 91% across the year. Additionally, 76% of consumers said they were aware of the Service, surpassing the overall awareness target of 75%.

In 2023, the Current Account Switch Service continues to work with the ecosystem to understand more about consumer and business needs, and how the banking sector serves them. Its continued strategic approach aims to have a long-term impact on the way banking services are delivered and on ensuring the future needs of consumers are met.

Jo Kenrick, Chair of the Pay.UK Switching Services Customer Committee, said: “I am exceptionally proud of the achievements that the Current Account Switch Service and the team have delivered in 2022.

“We were presented with a unique set of challenges, including a third successive year of economic turmoil, so it is particularly humbling to have reached our highest ever volume of quarterly switches in Q4 2022. We will continue to stand confidently by consumers as the UK’s switching service for current accounts as we enter our 10th anniversary year in 2023.”

Kate Frankish, Chief Business Development Officer of Pay.UK , said: “This annual report highlights the Current Account Switch Service’s activity and accomplishments during the year. We are proud to see that, against a turbulent economic backdrop for consumers, the Current Account Switch Service achieved of all its KPIs once again.
“We are delighted that the Service has continued to serve customers quickly and effectively, enabled by a deep understanding of the changing market for current accounts, both in terms of what banks and building societies are offering and what customers value.”

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