Current accounts the new switching battleground

453,000 more people switched current account compared to last quarter

MoneyExpert.com Switching Index Q1 results launched

The number of people leaving their bank has soared by 453,000 in the past quarter as current accounts become the new switching battleground, new research* from MoneyExpert.com shows.

As concern over unfair bank charges and an Office of Fair Trading investigation builds, the latest results of the MoneyExpert.com Switching Index show some 2.29 million people ditched their bank in the past six months. That means banks are losing around 12,700 customers a day – in total around 453,000 more than last quarter.

The new figures also show that more people are looking to get better rates on personal loans, with the number of people moving to a different provider increasing by some 457,000.

And the index also shows that broadband switching continues to be popular, with an extra 231,000 households swapping provider in the past six months. Some 15,900 homes are now switching broadband every day.

The MoneyExpert.com Switching Index monitors everything from gas and electricity providers to mobile phones, credit cards, broadband and bank account customers. Some 211,000 contracts changed hands every day in the last six months. In total around 38.95 million products and services were ditched by consumers shopping around.

Sean Gardner, Chief Executive of MoneyExpert.com, said: "Banks and building societies are feeling the pain as current account fees come under scrutiny. Customers are getting the message that you don’t have to just sit there and take it.

"With banks under threat for overdraft fees, they’re the ones feeling the pinch at the moment. These days people just won’t stand for poor service or for uncompetitive deals.

"And it seems more and more people with personal loans are looking to take advantage of some great rates out there at the moment. Unsecured lending is currently very competitive.

"Of course, switching out of a poor deal is a good idea but consumers should be wary of changing just for the sake of it. You need to search the market carefully and choose the right product for you – let’s not forget that the cheapest deal isn’t always the best deal."

MoneyExpert.com Switching Index – HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS 2007 Q1

Type of provider / supplier % of households that have switched in past six months No. of households who have switched in past 6 months (approx) Change on launch results (approx)
Electricity 16 3,837,000 -12,000
Gas 14 3,358,000 +251,000
Broadband 12 2,878,000 +231,553
Home Insurance 10 2,398,000 +233,063
Landline 9 2,158,000 -6,795

MoneyExpert.com Switching Index – PERSONAL PRODUCTS 2007 Q1

Type of provider / supplier % of people that have switched in past six months No. of people who have switched in past 6 months (approx) Change on launch results (approx)
Credit Card 14 6,424,000 -20,100
Motor Insurance 14 6,424,000 -20,100
Mobile Phone 9 4,130,000 -933,000
Savings Account 5 2,294,000 -7,000
Current Account 5 2,294,000 +453,100
Mortgage 4 1,835,000 -1,570
Personal Loan 2 917,800 +457,000

MoneyExpert.com says that regularly reviewing providers for a range of services is good practice but warns consumers that it might not always make financial sense to switch.

Sean Gardner added: "Some providers will tie you in to your contract for an agreed period, so don’t swap too often or without checking your terms and conditions. Mobile phone contracts are a prime example, where you’ll often have to buy out your existing deal to move providers."

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Notes:
Switching Index table – YouGov interviewed 2,374 GB adults (18+) between 2nd – 4th April 2007

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