Switch your bank and save hundreds, says Which?'Big five' offer few Best Buys, Which? Money shows

20 February 2008

Twenty pound note and coins

If you're not getting the most from your account provider, you should take your business elsewhere

People who still have accounts with the ‘big five’ banks could save money and get better customer service by switching to another provider, according to Which? Money.

Just nine of its 64 Best Buy savings accounts, loans and credit cards are available from the ‘big five’ banking groups – Barclays, HBOS, HSBC, Lloyds TSB and RBS/Natwest.

You could earn an extra £50 a year by switching your current account from one of the ‘big five’ to a Which? Money Best Buy, and could save £220 by switching your savings account. 

Customer service

There are also savings to be made by switching cash Isas, credit cards and loans to more competitively-priced products.

The ‘big five’ don't score highly for customer satisfaction either.

In a recent Which? Money survey, just 40% of Which? members who held a current account with Barclays, HSBC or Natwest were very satisfied with their bank, compared to 80% of Smile customers.

Better deals

Which? Money Editor Martyn Hocking said: ‘It would be easy to understand why people stick with the big banks if they offered good rates or excellent customer service, but our research shows that all too often this isn’t the case.

‘If you're still banking with one of the "big five", then now’s the time to ditch your account and get a better deal – and better service – elsewhere.’

The full article 'Time to ditch the big banks?' appears in the March issue of Which? Money magazine.

The March issue also explains how you can save up to £369 a year on your house insurance.