Current Accounts

Bank account switching surge driven by bigger cash handouts

In the third quarter of this year more than 344,000 bank account switches took place through the official Current Account Switch Service (CASS) according the the latest data published by

This figure is up from around 222,000 for the same period last year, as banks continue to up the ante in terms of cash incentives used as a strategy to lure new customers.

The official CASS data for the breakdown of individual bank switches is always 3 months in arrears.

However, the just published bank numbers for Q2 2023 highlight the effectiveness of dangling a tasty £200 carrot to UK consumers, many of who are struggling to cope with the higher cost of bills and mortgages, and increasingly on the lookout for ways to earn a little extra cash.

NatWest launched its highest ever current account switching incentive of £200 on 14th February this year, promising customers that their free cash would be in their bank account within 7 days of the official CASS switch from their old bank being completed – you can see the attraction for people in search of some quick and easy cash and the results bear this out.

In the first 6 months of this year, NatWest gained 199,507 new accounts from rival banks – if it had coughed up £200 for every one of those switches it would have paid out more than £39.9 million.

In reality some customers will probably have switched pre 14th February without the incentive, however, the total bill will still pretty eye watering, particularly when a fair few of these new customers are likely to ‘up sticks’ for another new bank in search of the next cash handout.

Switching incentives are nothing new, but the £100 or so that was once offered wouldn’t cut it these days – you just wonder how much longer the banks will be prepared to foot the multi million ’roundabout of free cash’ to feed the growing switch culture – particularly as it sees that many newbie customers are only in it for the free cash and don’t hang around for long.

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