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As Quarter of a Million Customers Switch Accounts, These Banks Suffered Most

Halifax and TSB lose customers; Nationwide, HSBC gain

By CBR Staff Writer

Britain’s long-sclerotic banks beware: customers are taking growing advantage of the ability to switch current account wholesale; an established service first launched in 2013, but which has gained steam as the market opens up to new providers.

Fresh figures from the Current Account Switch service show that 265,195 switches were completed in Q1 2019 alone; with 5.6 million customers having now used the service to swap one current account provider for another.

Over 75.5 million payments have now been redirected by the service since its launch in 2013, with a seven-day switching success rate of 99.4 per cent, retail payments authority PAY.UK said this week, as it published a detailed breakdown for Q4 2018.

Who’s The Biggest Loser?

Data from Pay.uk shows that the Halifax lost the most customers overall during the last quarter of 2018. It managed to claw some back, however: the Halifax lost 34,542 customers during the period, and gained 17,175, for a net loss of 17,367.

TSB suffered a greater net loss: the bank, which has faced a series of outages and glitches owing to a botched banking infrastructure migration, lost 19,614 customers during the quarter, but gained just 2,122, for a net loss of 17,492.

Read this: TSB CEO Falls on Sword Amid IT Migration Mess

The biggest beneficiaries were not young challenger banks, but instead, established High Street names Nationwide and HSBC, the data shows.

Referring to the newer batch of figures for Q1, Pay.UK said: “Reflecting on the published gains and losses in participants of Q4 2018 [the dashboard above] we saw the newest members to the service, Monzo Bank and Starling Bank gain the fourth and fifth highest net gains respectively, showing the continuation of a growth in consumer confidence in challenger banks. HSBC recorded the highest switching gains, followed by Nationwide and NatWest”.

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Those under 35 are three times as likely to think about switching.

A Market in Flux

The figures come as the rise of Open Banking (the UK was the first country in the world to implement a standardised Open Banking solution) continues to disrupt the market, even if many banks remain reluctant to meet its requirements (recent research, for example, found that 41 percent of banks missed a recent PSD2 deadline to provide a testing environment or ‘sandbox’ for third party service providers).

Visa is the latest financial services provider to roll out new developer-centric offerings intended to help provide new offerings for digital-first customers.

See also: HSBC Launches API Hub – A Week Before PSD2 Deadline

Its new platform Visa Next, comes with a set of beta APIs, specifications and development tools for issuers and issuer processors to begin building and beta testing new payment products, including virtual cards for parents.

The company said earlier this week: “The first set of beta APIs will help Visa’s clients and partners build unique new ways for individuals to use, manage and control their money digitally – and in a way that works for them.”

“Imagine if parents could instantly create a Visa card on their mobile device and send it to their child’s phone for immediate use, instead of giving them cash for movies, for example. They could also set parameters around where, when, even how long the child can use this card – and adjust these controls at any time via their own mobile device,” said Sam Shrauger, SVP, global issuer and consumer solutions, Visa.

“This example is just one of many ways our partners and clients can use this platform… [which simplifies] certain aspects of our everyday lives, giving consumers back the power of managing finances the way it works the best for them.”

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