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Current account switchers are banking on their values

Despite a more competitive market and increasingly easy methods of switching current account, research shows that the average UK account holder has a longer relationship with their bank than their husband or wife. Incredibly, Brits stay with their account provider on average five and half years longer than the length of the average marriage (that’s 17 years compared to 11.5 years). However, despite this inertia, Triodos Bank is acquiring switchers who are attracted by the opportunity for their money to work for real social and environmental change.

BACS – which runs the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) – has reported that it has completed nearly 5 million successful current account switches since the service launched in 2013. Despite awareness of the government-backed service claimed to be as high as 80%, there is still a lack of movement in the market, with overall switching figures dropping 7% from 2016 to 2017.

At the same time, increasing number of people are likely to switch accounts for a social purpose. As British consumers become more aware of how their money can be used for positive social and environmental impact many are looking beyond the old, larger institutions for a bank that matches their values.

“Switching to a Triodos Current Account is just another piece of the puzzle in terms of being proactive about trying to live according to my values”

Kat Brealey, Triodos customer

“For many years now, consumers have had the opportunity to align their values with the food they choose to buy, the transport they take, and the energy they consume. Now they have that choice with their daily finances,” says Bevis Watts, Managing Director of Triodos Bank UK.

“Switchers to Triodos know that we are completely transparent about where we lend their money and that it is working towards positive social, cultural and environmental change.”

Triodos customer Kat Brealey recognises the importance of this opportunity for social impact, saying that the Triodos Current Account was a chance for her to make a clear


Kat Brealey switched to the Triodos Current Account after realising that her money could be used for positive social change

statement about the kind of world she wanted to live in and the kind of values she wanted to support. “For me, switching to a Triodos Current Account is just another piece of the puzzle in terms of being proactive about trying to live according to my values – so once the option became available, I wanted to take it. These days I’m keen that my money doesn’t just ‘not do bad,’ but actively does good – which is why the Triodos model appeals”

As the public gains a better understanding of the implications of where they put their money – thanks to campaigns like Christian Aid’s Big Shift – savers are increasingly turning to the ethical option that enables their money to do good, even when it’s in the bank.

Zoe Sear, Head of Marketing and Communications at Triodos Bank UK, says there is a desire for meaningful social impact among current account holders. “There is a real disconnection with fintech providers, in that many customers want to know what is sitting behind the tech. If we are challenging consumer behaviour with tech, is that going far enough? The way to break inertia is to help customers understand the power they actually have within their finances and empower them to make more conscious choices about their banking relationships.”

Research conducted by Triodos Bank at the end of last year found that 63% of people want their money to have a positive impact on society and the environment and that 51% would switch banks if they found out their money was financing organisations that negatively affect people or the environment.

This trend is becoming a global movement: insurance giant Lloyd’s of London has announced plans to stop investing in coal companies, while last year the total amount divested by universities hit £80 billion globally. The call for positive impact is growing louder; customers want more information on how their money is being used, with many customers who switch to Triodos citing transparency as a major motivation for doing so.

Sign up today for the Triodos Current Account at: www.triodos.co.uk/change

Triodos Current Account

The Triodos current account is part of the Current Account Switching Service (CASS) scheme, making it easier to switch with all direct debits, standing orders and payments in and out automatically transferred.

What do you think of "Current account switchers are banking on their values"

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Jenny Beer 3 years ago

At the moment I am still lucky enough to have my current account with a real bank in our village. If I have a problem I can pop in and get it sorted. So many branches are closing, I feel it is socially helpful to support them as long as they stay. If this branch should close I will change to Triodos but prefer not to bank on line.

Reply to Jenny Beer
Catherine Byron 3 years ago

I agree with Jenny over the benefit of having access to an actual branch. I used to live in West of Ireland until 2013, and whilst there my nearest UK bank branch was in Northern Ireland. Very complicated at times.

But it was great to have a branch of my Irish bank nearby, in a small local town. (I did still run an old banger of a car there.)

I am now living permanently in East London, in a Sheltered flat. I’d love to move my current a/c to Triodos, where I’ve held savings for several years. I hate my money being with HSBC! But I cannot visualise doing this while the new Triodos a/c’s only online, alas.

Reply to Catherine Byron
Margarethe Kölmel 3 years ago

While I don’t have experience with Triodos I do have with a Merkur (sustainable banking in Denmark). That bank only having a few physical branches I have done my banking online and on phone for many years and have gotten a much better service than with the banks I was with before who had lots of branches.
I would encourage everybody to give it a try.

Reply to Catherine Byron
Harriet Dodd 2 years ago

I have used online banking with Coop and Triodos for 8 years. With messaging (Triodos needs online chat) it’s like having your own bank without the queue!

Enrico 3 years ago

Dear Sirs, Dear All – I have opened a Triodos Current Account, with the intention of switching; however I am still unable to do so, as the Triodos Account cannot be added to my iPhone, which I believe is the best and most secure way of paying a retailer in the UK; until this is in place is like makeing a step ‘backward’ so I cannot switch…

Reply to Enrico
Enrico 3 years ago

Of course I support Triodos as I have opened a Saving as well, but switching is a much more ‘heavy’ issue, as explained…

Reply to Enrico
Lyndon Ashmore 2 years ago

Hello Enrico, thanks for getting in touch. We are always looking at future impriovements that we can make to our online banking and product features. As with all new products, we will work to enhance our customer offering in line with market changes and customer feedback, which is regularly reviewed. Thank you very much again for getting in touch with your question.

Paul Jennings 2 years ago

I have been considering switching to Triodos after two decades with an efficient but far less ethical high street bank. Having a strict budget I would like to ask why there is a monthly fee?

Reply to Paul Jennings
Lyndon Ashmore 2 years ago

Hello Paul, thank you very much for your question. We’re proud to be upfront and transparent in the way fees and charges are applied to our current account so, rather than charging excessive penalties to a minority of customers to subsidise a ‘free’ account, we think a fairer approach is for all customers to pay a monthly fee. The £3 monthly charge does not cover the full cost of running the account – it’s a statement that we need fairer and more transparent banking.

Reply to Lyndon Ashmore
Phillip Deackes 2 years ago

Call it what you like, but it is a fee other banks do not levy and it is basically what is stopping me from opening a current account with Triodos. The Co-operative Bank is ethical enough compared to other banks and it pays me £5.50 a month. That means if I switched to a Triodos current account I would effectively be paying £102 a year for the ‘privilege’. On top of that I would lose the facility to pay by Android Pay. It makes no sense to me.

Reply to Phillip Deackes
egrattan 2 years ago

Hi Philip, sorry a very late reply but it might be worth having a read of our blog post specifically looking at this issie: https://colour-of-money.co.uk/mind-the-gap/

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