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Current accounts…when staying faithful doesn’t pay

Current accounts…when staying faithful doesn’t pay

Category: Banking

Updated: 08/08/2011
First Published: 26/08/2010

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Current account holders, who are remaining loyal to their banks for longer than they would their partners, are missing out on the best current account deals.

On average, Britons keep their current account provider for 16.5 years, longer than the average of 14.1 years that they remain with their partners, according to research from Santander Current Accounts.

Despite incentives from high street providers aimed at getting people to switch their current account, more than half (57%) of all UK adults have kept their current account for more than a decade.

Almost one in five (18%) has held the same current account for more than 30 years.

However, while the majority of people appear reluctant to consider changing their current account provider, 7% said they had moved their current account more than three times in the last decade.

"For many people, enjoying a successful long term relationship in whatever form is more rewarding than chopping and changing," said Helen Bierton, head of Santander Current Accounts.

"When it comes to current accounts, people often stay with the same provider, even though it might not be the most competitive, because the prospect of switching to a new current account can be daunting.

"Interestingly, those who have switched current accounts in the past 10 years say it is about rates and rewards, with reasons such as convenience and trust appearing high on the list of priorities."

Why not check out the latest current account deals to see if your loyalty to your current account provider is hitting you in the pocket?

Switch your main current account to Santander and pay in at least £1,000 a month and the Spanish banking giant will give you £100, as well as 5% AER (fixed) for 12 months on the first £2,500 of your balance.

Put the same monthly payment of £1,000 into the Halifax Reward Current Account, and you will be rewarded with £6.25 per month.

There's no interest rate as such, but the overall sum of £75 per year will be paid whether the account is in credit or overdrawn, as long as the minimum contribution is met.

For the same monthly contribution again of £1,000, the Lloyds TSB Classic Plus account pays 2.47% gross, one of the highest interest rates around for an online current account.

If the contribution limits required to get the best rates on these deals is too steep, then the Nationwide FlexAccount might be the one for you.

Complete the quick and easy online account transfer and there awaits a three month interest free overdraft, along with free European multi-trip travel cover.

Or if you'd prefer a bank account with fewer frills, then there are still plenty of options available.

Barclays Basic Bank Account is a straightforward account with no monthly account fee which can be managed online, by phone or in branch.

Alternatively, the HSBC Basic Bank Account is ideal for those who are 18 and over but will only make a few basic transactions per month.

You might think switching current accounts will be a long and laborious task, but this couldn't be further from the truth.

Your newly chosen current account provider will contact your old one for a list of your direct debits and standing orders, before asking you to confirm which ones you want to move.

Letting your employer, pension provider and anyone else who pays money into your old current account know of your new current account details will be about as far as your responsibilities have to go.

The transfer should take no longer than 4 weeks to complete, while you'll even be reimbursed if you end up out of pocket should anything go wrong.

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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.