The Current Account Switch ServiceIt met all of its regulatory KPIs by 2021. The total number switched accounts across the year was 782 223, according to its Annual Report, published today. Since its inception in 2013, the Service has assisted more than 7 million switch requests.
The Service had a very successful year in meeting its regulatory KPIs. 99.8% of switches were completed within seven working days, and consumers were satisfied an average of 92% throughout the year. The pandemic triggered a surge in awareness, with 76% of respondents saying they knew about the Service. This is higher than the 75% target.
Current Account Switch Service is a key tool in helping businesses and consumers make the most out of their money. It provides a stress-free and simple way for customers and businesses to transfer their current accounts. This service’s smooth functioning is crucial in these difficult economic times. In 2021, the Service focussed, using targeted marketing and a multi-channel approach, on groups that could potentially benefit most from switching – specifically financially vulnerable people, 18-24-year-olds and SMEs. This marketing included a series advertising the ease of switching. The Service was able focus its efforts on these key groups with minimal impact on overall awareness.
The Current Account Switch Service launched a massive awareness campaign in early 2021 to reach everyone in the UK. Covid-19’s impact on lives was still significant. The current account switch service decided to share real stories of people switching to their accounts to help them reach a wider audience. The Service was able to show that even in the most difficult months of the pandemic it was possible to change a current account quickly, easily, and with a lot of value.
The Current Account Switch Service has continued to publish new research insights. The Social Market Foundation collaborated with the Service to complete research on the role of banks, building societies and other financial institutions in helping customers be more financially resilient and improve their outcomes. Expert roundtables held in November 2021 brought together experts from industry, the financial research community, consumer groups, and charities to inform the final report. The report found that the best way to improve outcomes in financial services is to combine customer engagement measures with current account switch, as well as regulatory intervention to protect vulnerable customers.
Current Account Switch Service (CASS) will continue its work in 2022 with the ecosystem to better understand consumer needs and the way the banking sector serves them. The revised strategic approach will have a long-term effect on how banking services are provided and how future needs of consumers are met as businesses and individuals look to recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Jo Kenrick is the Chair of Pay.UK Switching Services Participant Committee.: “Despite the ongoing challenges posed by Covid-19, 2021 saw the financial services industry and its customers act decisively on what they had learned in the previous year.
“I am proud of the achievements that the Current Account Switch Service and the team have delivered in 2021. The effects of the pandemic are likely to continue into the future, so we need to be prepared. We are looking forward confidently as the UK’s switching service for current accounts.”
David Pitt, Chief Executive Officer of Pay.UK and owner/operator of the Current Account Switch Service said: “This annual report highlights the Current Account Switch Service’s activity and successes during the year and we are pleased to see that the Service has achieved all of its KPIs for 2021. With the continued challenging economic backdrop, this was enabled by deep understanding of the changing market for current accounts; both in terms of what banks and building societies are offering and what customers value.”
You can download the entire annual report here.