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.