New findings reveal consumers now voting with their feet
The latest data from The Co-operative Bank current accounts has revealed a 38% increase in current account sales in 2009*. Furthermore when looking in more detail the numbers show a 22% increase in customers switching their current accounts to The Co-operative Bank from other major providers, with a 31% increase in switching activity from the big four banks.
New research findings highlight many of the reasons which drive people to look for a new current account provider, with over a third citing customer service (29%), a quarter looking for online banking facilities (23%) and a local branch (19%) and more than one in ten looking for a more ethical provider (10%), and a transparent charging structure (14%)**.
The figures demonstrate that since the beginning of the financial crisis despite the usual trends of inertia in the current account market, people have started to look at their banking providers more closely, with general discontent and distrust leading to many customers voting with their feet.
When looking back over the last twelve months there have been a number of events that have triggered the switching activity, with peaks in the numbers switching accounts linked to events in the wider economic climate including public distrust in financial institutions, unease with remuneration policies and confusion over overdraft charging structures.
Despite the increase in numbers switching, the research does show that some inaction does still exist when it comes to changing bank accounts, with the average person much more likely to switch energy providers, move house, or switch mobile phone companies than switch their current account. However the research also now highlights that moving current accounts is now more common than other life events such as changing career, moving countries, or getting a divorce.
John Hughes, Business Leader, Retail Products for The Co-operative Financial Services comments, “The findings clearly show that customers are now increasingly likely to switch their bank account, if they are unhappy with the service, facilities or ethos of their provider.”
“Historically many people chose their banking provider when they were younger and stayed with that provider throughout their life. However now more than ever consumers should review their banking products as their personal circumstances change to ensure that their account suits their financial needs and service requirements. In the past moving a current account often seemed daunting, but actually, most banks now do all the work, including transferring all direct debits and existing balances, which makes the process much easier for customers.”
For further information please contact
Catherine Laycock / Alejandra Solis
The Co-operative Financial Services Press Office
Tel: 0161 903 3833 / 3808
E mail : firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Notes to Editors
Case studies available on request
*Internal data based on 2009 figures. 38% year on year increase, when comparing 2009 figures with 2008
** Research carried out in January 2010 by onepoll.com on behalf of The Co-operative Bank amongst a geographically representative sample of 2,000 adult respondents.
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About The Co-operative Financial Services
The Co-operative Financial Services (CFS) is part of The Co-operative Group, which is the world's largest consumer co-operative with around five million members, over £14 billion turnover, and core business interests in financial services, food, travel, pharmacy and funeral care. The Co-operative Group has over 5,000 retail trading outlets.
Following the merger with Britannia Building Society on 1 August 2009, the new organisation is one of the largest and well-diversified mutual businesses operating in both retail and corporate markets.
As part of The Co-operative Group, the new business will be characterised by its unique ethical and member reward policies and very high levels of customer advocacy.
The combined business has £70 billion in assets, 12,000 staff and nine million customers. It has over 300 high street branches, 20 corporate banking centres and a major presence in Manchester, London, Leek, Bristol, Plymouth, Skelmersdale and Stockport. There are also 1,000 face-to-face financial advisers throughout the UK.
It is the only mutual organisation that enables its members to earn financial rewards for the products they hold, as well as giving them the opportunity to have a say in how the business is ran.