Santander reaps benefits taking 20% of all switchers finds TNS Report
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3rd October 2013 

Leading research organisation TNS has launched its Current Account Switching Index - this monthly index monitors UK switching levels amongst the leading financial institutions, as well as look at the reasons why people 'switch' from their current banks towards new providers.



Levels of 'switching'

In the last 12 months only 5% of all customers have switched current accounts and of these 'switchers' 53% have kept their existing accounts open. The main exception to this is the over 65s, 67% of whom have completely switched across - closing their existing accounts.

Amongst those who have switched, there are no absolute winners or losers, but overall traditional banks are losing out:

*% of switchers

Gain %

Loss %










Lloyds TSB









The Co-operative Bank









First Direct



Bank of Scotland




Reasons for switching – competitive rates and customer services pushing customers out the door. 

When we look at the reasons behind these switching figures 'poor customer service' is cited by a quarter of our switchers (24%), followed closely by competitive rates (22%) as motivations for leaving their current providers. This pull of better rates is also why 26% of people are choosing to move across certain institutions, but a good reputation and convenience factors such as opening hours are also hugely influential.

Cited as reason for leaving a provider
Cited as reason for choosing a provider
Customer Service
Competitive Rates
Special Offers
Branch Local/Opening Hours


Maureen Duffy, CEO of TNS UK said: "The most notable 'gain' is Santander with 20% of switchers choosing to move across to their current account offer, although 11% have moved away, which is indicative of churn. We know from our research that one of the biggest temptations for consumers to switch is the lure of competitive rates. With heavily advertised Santander 123 current account now offering 3% AER interest on balances over £3k and cash back, it is probably not surprising that they are an early beneficiary. However, as 'competitive rates' become more ubiquitous amongst banks it will be those other fundamental differentiators such as customer service, reputation and opening hours, that will drive recommendation and influence consumer choice."

Awareness of Payments Council Current Account Switching Service on the rise

More than 1 in 3 people are aware of the new scheme launched by the Payment Council (this is highest amongst 55+ with 44% saying they know about the scheme). This is a significant rise from just three months ago, when only 15% of people had heard about the service.

And overall people are satisfied with their switching experience - of those who have switched a massive 86% of people say they have been satisfied with the process and 52% were very satisfied.

Maureen Duffy, CEO, TNS UK said: "The launch of the Payments Council’s new service has undoubtedly been successful, predominantly in increasing awareness of the switching scheme, but also in ensuring that those who do switch are satisfied with the experience. However, we are still only seeing relatively small numbers actually switching and a lot of those who do are choosing to keep one foot in the other camp by keeping old accounts open. The reasons for this is probably more to do with the immaturity of the new 'switching' landscape, but possibly also customer inertia as people continue to perceive that the process of switching is more hassle than the resulting benefits."


TNS Switching Index

TNS Current Account Switching Index is a UK study conducted by TNS Omnibus, interviewing 8258 banking customers, between 12 July and 16 September 2013.

The index will released monthly, to subscribe or for further information, please contact


About TNS

TNS advises clients on specific growth strategies around new market entry, innovation, brand switching and stakeholder management, based on long-established expertise and market-leading solutions. With a presence in over 80 countries, TNS has more conversations with the world’s consumers than anyone else and understands individual human behaviours and attitudes across every cultural, economic and political region of the world. TNS is part of Kantar, one of the world's largest insight, information and consultancy groups. Please visit for more information.

About Kantar

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