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Published: 04/03/2019

Customers searching for a new current account will find that there are now more ways to compare not just the best deals available, but also the service and quality of some of the biggest account providers on the market.

This is thanks to the GfK UK Limited service quality recommendation survey, an independent survey that's to be published every six months as part of a new regulatory requirement from the Financial Conduct Authority and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The latest figures indicate that providers with a high overall service quality score for personal current accounts are gaining customers, while those that scored less have seen consumers switch from their service.

To help you decide which accounts could be right for you, Moneyfacts.co.uk has highlighted those providers that offer some of the best current accounts on the market, along with their overall service quality score.

Selection of accounts that are best for:


Account


Cashback


Benefits


Cost to borrow £300 for 15 days


Overall service quality score (CMA/GfK UK Limited)

Switching incentive


HSBC Advance


£150 upfront for switchers

Access to discounts and offers online; 5% regular saver


£2.20 (17.9% EAR)


57%

High interest

Nationwide Building Society FlexDirect


Simply Rewards (Closes 1 April 2019)

5% AER credit interest on balances up to £2,500 (first year); 5% regular saver

12 months' free overdraft, thereafter £7.50 (£0.50p per day)


72%


Spend and save


Santander 123 Current Account*


1-3% cashback on selected household bills

1.50% AER credit interest on balances up to £20,000; access to 123 World offers

Four months' free overdraft, thereafter £15 (£1 per day)


61%


Overdraft usage

first direct 1st Account**

£100 for switching; earn cashback with selected retailers

5% regular saver offered exclusively to account holders

First £250 fee-free, thereafter £0.33 in interest (15.9% EAR)


82%

*£5 monthly fee. **£10 monthly fee unless account funded by £1,000 or if an existing relationship is held. Fee waived for the first six months. Source: Moneyfacts.co.uk

"The latest shake-up in the current account market is designed to help customers make better-informed decisions when eyeing up an alternative deal, and it already seems as though consumers are becoming more aware that the level of service they receive is just as important as an account's incentive package," said Rachel Springall, finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk. "Not only this, but switching between providers is simpler than ever before thanks to the Current Account Switch Service (CASS), which means customers can switch current accounts in as few as seven days."

There's a definite correlation between those brands that offer the highest service quality score and those that are gaining the highest number of new customers, too, as evidenced by the latest switching figures from the CASS dashboard.

For example, "Nationwide made a net gain of over 30,000 switches between July and September 2018 and, based on the independent study by GfK UK Limited, the bank came out with a 72% satisfaction rate for overall service quality, taking third place in the rankings of 16 of the biggest current account providers on the market," pointed out Rachel. "The FlexDirect account from Nationwide remains one of the top deals for consumers searching for high credit interest, paying 5% AER, so it's little wonder the mutual is so attractive to many consumers.

"Conversely, some of the providers to suffer the biggest net losses over the same period were those who failed to achieve an overall service quality rating of 60% or more, such as TSB (52% score) and NatWest (59%). Both of these brands faced criticism over IT glitches, the result being that TSB saw a net loss of over 16,000 switches, while NatWest lost more than 12,000 customers. It therefore seems likely this disruption to service – which resulted in a poor customer service score – led to users looking to other providers to bank with."

It looks as though the link between the quality of service and movement of customers may well be set to continue, and now that service recommendations are an industry requirement, it is anticipated that more consumers will consider these results before they switch. Handily, you can now find details of each brand's service performance when comparing current accounts – simply click on the 'Details' link of your potential new account and you'll find the most recent performance figures, alongside all other necessary product details.

"As the market continues to adapt, it can only be a positive result for consumers who feel that their loyalty isn't paying off," concluded Rachel. "It takes just seven days to switch using the CASS and there are some great deals to take advantage of whether customers are a saver or a spender."

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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