NatWest Switch winner as thousands flocked to his £150 bonus

More than 33,000 savers switched their current account to NatWest in the three months to March 2022, linked to the launch of its £150 cash incentive for new customers.

NatWest gained 33,310 customers in the first quarter of 2022, with the numbers bolstered by its current account switching incentive which was increased from £100 to £150 in the new year.

However, it also suffered a loss of 13,846 customers, giving it a net gain of 19,464 – still the largest net gain among 47 banking brands.

According to Pay.UK, which owns and operates the Current Account Switching Service (CASS), HSBC suffered the biggest loss with 29,960 accounts, but it also had the biggest gains with 35,136. Overall of the quarter, it ended up with a net gain of 5,176.

Santander saw an exodus of customers as it lost 25,972 account holders, followed by Halifax with 19,283.

After NatWest, Nationwide came in second with a net gain of 12,503, with challenger Starling Bank in third with a net gain of 11,888.

Meanwhile, TSB recorded the largest net loss at -13,120 as it lost 15,061 customers while only 1,941 joined. Next come Barclays with a net loss of -12,851 and Halifax with -11,939.

While customer data is three months behind schedule, Pay.UK revealed that there were a total of 191,777 changes in the three months to June 2022. It said 99.7% of changes have been completed within seven working days.

And in the past 12 months (July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022), there have been a total of 850,243 switches, an increase of 203,674 from the same period the previous year. This is likely due to switch bonuses nearly drying up amid the pandemic and customers seeking stability with their current lender.

Pay.UK said that not only had more people switched current accounts, but a greater proportion had done so via the current account switching service. Nearly two in three people (63%) who have changed current accounts in the past 12 months have used the service, compared to 55% in the previous two years.

People evaluating current accounts

David Piper, Head of Service Lines at Pay.UK, said: “As life in the UK begins to return to its pre-pandemic form, we have seen an increase in the number of people choosing to move to a new current account. This trend could continue into 2022, with many looking to take advantage of the rising interest rates and cash back incentives that some providers are now offering.

“Of course, the rising cost of living provides another reason for people to assess whether their existing checking account is providing the right service for their needs, or whether switching to another checking account might be a prudent decision.

“Those wondering if it’s time to open a new current account should remember that the Current Account Switch Service is free and provides a valuable layer of protection for those who want to switch accounts quickly and without stress.”