We stay with our banks longer than our partners

If you’ve stayed with the same bank since you opened a Squirrel Supersaver account when you were ten, you’re not alone. According to Which! the average length of time a customer stays with a bank is a whopping 16 years – longer than the average long term relationship in the UK.


58% of the people surveyed had kept their bank account for 10 years or more, and one in six had been with the same bank for 30 years. And that's despite low customer satisfaction scores and dodgy geezers like Bob Diamond.

So why do we stay so long? Is it misguided loyalty? Or just sheer laziness? Which! cite ‘customer inertia’ as the reason nobody bothers changing. And with the big five banks, Lloyds TSB Banking Group, RBS Group, Barclays, HSBC and Santander counting for 90% of the market, it’s easy to see that it’s very much a matter of ‘same crap, different bucket.’

However, in September the Payments Council is planning to launch a new account switching service, geared towards helping customers move banks.

But with competition still thin on the ground, will there really be any reason for us to give up that bank account we drunkenly chose as students - just because you got a tenner and a free pen?


  • Alexis
    Here's what happens when you switch banks at the moment: • apply online, all seems nice and easy • new bank then says it will take about 6 weeks for all the direct debits to be sorted out • your old bank drags its heels and refused to change any DD's • old bank sends you stuff to sign • new bank does nothing • all your direct debits then disappear or become duplicated • you spend weeks ringing every company and end up switching manually • a percentage of those companies will fluff things up • cue bouncing DD's and threats to cut off your internet/electricity/water etc etc • you wish you hadn't bothered
  • badger
    First Direct bleat about having a Switching Service that "does all the work for you". Umm... somewhat less than accurate. They contact each of the companies with whom you have standing orders/direct debits ONCE. If those companies fail to respond, or respond in any way other than what's convenient for First Direct, it then becomes YOUR responsibility to sort the mess out. Minimal effort from them, obscured by maximum marketing puffery.
  • Sally
    Stay longer with our banks than our partners? That's not difficult. It's Friday so tonight I'm out on the pull again. Be over by Sunday :-)

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