The Current Account Switch Service was launched in September 2013 as a way to encourage customers to switch bank accounts and boost competition in the sector. It appears to have had the desired effect – not only are banks offering more perks than ever in an attempt to attract new business, but millions of customers have taken the plunge and found a better deal.
Latest figures for the service have revealed that 1.03 million current account switches took place in the 12-month period from 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2015. This marks a slight drop from the 1.15 million switches that occurred in 2014, but the overall figure hides the huge improvement that was seen towards the end of the year.
A high-profile media campaign was launched in September 2015, and as a result, 257,638 switches took place in the final three months of the year – an 11% increase on the previous three-month period. Furthermore, by the end of December 2015, 72% of survey respondents were aware of the Current Account Switch Service, an increase of 14 percentage points since the service's launch.
Not only that, but since the launch in September 2013, there have been more than 2.5 million switches – that's a lot of people who could now be reaping the benefits of a better bank account.
This January marks the launch of a new burst of public awareness activity designed to demonstrate the many benefits of the service, it said in a statement, with this activity designed to make consumers confident that switching will be simple and stress-free.
The multimedia campaign includes prominent TV advertising, radio and digital media, and will incorporate educational videos that show how the service works and how consumers can benefit. It comes at a time of year when consumers are not only planning their finances for the year ahead, but are also being bombarded with current account promotion from banks and building societies, so it could have a significant impact on consumer behaviour.
The question is, are you planning to take the plunge and switch bank accounts? Whether you're not happy with the service you receive, think you're paying too much for a package of features you don't use, or simply want to benefit from a short-term cash incentive and the option of long-term in-credit interest or cashback, now could be the time to see what's out there.
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Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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