2.4 million customers left the UK’s five biggest banks in 2012, according to new figures announced by Laura Willoughby MBE, at the City and Common Good debate in St Paul's Cathedral this evening (12 June 2013).

The figures, based on quarterly market polling publically available [6], show a mass movement away from the big banking groups, Lloyds, RBS, Barclays, HSBC and Santander. This represents a 5% point loss of the market share of current accounts, and demonstrates a massive response from ordinary people to a year of scandal by voting with their feet and switching who they bank with.

The news comes as a boost to local, ethical and mutual financial service providers who increased their customer base significantly.

Launching the findings, Laura Willoughby MBE, Chief Executive of campaigning website MoveYourMoney.org.uk, said:

The constant slew of scandals last year has opened the floodgates, and people are beginning to realise that they don’t have to put up with the arrogance of the big banks.

People are switching because they are angry about the lack of reform in Britain’s broken banking system, and have decided to take matters into their own hands.

This shows that real change won’t come from Westminster or the boardroom, but from ordinary people putting their foot down and saying ‘enough is enough’

The data, drawn from industry studies, supports anecdotal evidence and growth figures from alternative providers. The acceleration of migration away from the big banks looks set to continue in 2013, as Britain prepares for the biggest shake-up in the current account market for decades.

From September the rules governing switching bank accounts will change, limiting the time it will take to change banks to only 7 working days. Today’s research suggests that up to 9 million people may be more likely to switch as a result of these changes. Separate research from YouGov predicts that the number could be as high as 14 million.

Laura Willoughby MBE continued:

This is a long-term trend about creating a fairer, more competitive and socially responsible banking system – one that puts customers first, supports the economy, and cares about the society in which it operates.

With ever more banking scandals and new competitors nipping at their heels, these figures are another nail in the coffin of the dominance of the big banks in the UK.

Move Your Money - moveyourmoneyAlistair McClean from Newcastle switched his personal and business accounts from Barclays to Handelsbanken last year. He said:

The UK banks had no idea who I was or what my business required, I was just a numbered income stream to them.

Ridiculous bonuses and the Libor fixing scandal simply pushed me over the edge. These bankers are so arrogant that they think themselves above the law.

Switching banks was so straightforward that I actually enjoyed telling Barclays why I ditched them. I wanted a bank that would treat me as a human being, and would use my money for socially and ethically responsible projects.

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