Banking statistics 2020

What are the biggest banks? Which banks are winning and losing customers? How are opinions about banks changing? Find the latest UK banking statistics here.

Posted

Fact checked
Picture not described

The UK banking sector is the largest in Europe and one of the most prominent globally. 97% of the UK population have a day-to-day bank account, making them an inevitable part of our everyday life. We gathered the latest banking statistics on the biggest and best banks in the UK, along with carrying out our own research revealing how often people are switching their accounts, their opinions on well-established banks and digital banks as well as the most common reasons why users feel negative about their bank.

What are the biggest banks in the UK?

Out of the hundreds of banks operating in the UK, we analysed the top five banks that are currently the market leaders in terms of size (using market capitalisation) in 2020.

HSBC is the largest bank in the UK, with a market cap of $161 billion. This is well over double the next biggest bank, Lloyds Banking Group, with a market cap of $61 billion. Barclays was the third biggest bank ($41 billion), followed by NatWest ($39 billion) and Standard Chartered ($30 billion).

Bank Market cap ($ billion)
HSBC Holdings 161.35
Lloyds Banking Group 60.95
Barclays 41.23
Natwest 38.94
Standard Chartered 30.23

Switching bank accounts: The latest statistics

According to our latest survey, 61% of Brits said they have switched banks at some point in their life. Out of those switching, 44% switch at least once every five years. The most common (26%) switching period was every three to five years. However, some consumers stay loyal to their banks for far longer, with a fifth of consumers staying with their bank for up to 20 years.

How often do Brits switch banks? Percentage
More than once a year 4.15%
Once every 1–2 years 13.70%
Once every 3–5 years 25.66%
Once every 6–9 years 18.69%
Once every 10–19 years 18.11%
Once every 20+ years 19.68%

Generational differences: Younger generations are switching banks more often

Generation Z is the least likely generation so far to stick with the same bank, according to a Finder survey in 2020.

We found that 57% of gen Z adults switched their main account within two years of turning 18. By comparison, only 26% of millennials and 19% of generation X moved bank within two years of turning 18. The generation most likely to stick with their banks early into adulthood were baby boomers, with only 16% moving banks in the two years after they turned 18.

How many adults switched their main account within two years of turning 18?
How many adults switched their main account within two years of turning 18? Percentage
Gen Z 57%
Millennials 26%
Gen X 19%
Baby boomers 16%

UK current account switches (January to March 2020): Which banks are winning and losing?

Looking at 2020’s first quarter, Monzo and Starling Bank made net gains of 19,049 and 15,153 customers respectively during the first three months of 2020, while Barclays, Halifax, Lloyds, RBS and Santander all made net losses.

While HSBC did well, with a net gain of 33,994 customers, it’s worth noting that this figure includes customers of its younger upstart First Direct. Nationwide and NatWest both made respectable net gains of 22,993 and 15,681 respectively, but both offered significant switching incentives around this time. Nationwide was running its Recommend a Friend scheme until 6 April, while NatWest was offering a £175 switching bonus to anyone that switched using CASS.

The data shows a 65% drop in total switches during lockdown vs the first three months of 2020, which reflects a decline in the number of switching incentives while banks seemed to focus on their existing customers.

Bank Gains Losses Net gains
HSBC 74,563 40,569 33,994
Nationwide 43,883 20,890 22,993
Monzo 22,096 3,047 19,049
NatWest 43,883 27,900 15,681
Starling Bank 16,872 1,719 15,153
Barclays 8,818 20,136 -11,318
Lloyds 12,049 23,527 -11,478
RBS 4,047 18,141 -14,094
Halifax 7,841 31,031 -23,189
Santander 12,030 41,222 -29,192

What are the most famous consumer banks in the UK?

Some banks have developed strong brands over many years of operating, while others (such as digital banks) have become known for being disrupters. Here we analyse which banking brands are the top 50 most well-known in the UK in 2020.

Overall, in the UK, Barclays is the most famous bank, followed by Nationwide Building Society, HSBC and Santander. All of these banks have been operating for over 100 years, slowly building their brand presence and dominance in the banking sector.

However, a few digital banks have managed to break into the top 50 most well-known banks without operating for such a long time. For example, Monzo (34th), Starling Bank (39th) and Revolut (49th) all broke into the top 50 most famous banks despite only being founded in the last 10 years.

Name Rank (ALL)
Barclays 1
Nationwide Building Society 2
HSBC UK 3
Santander 4
Barclaycard 5
Halifax 6
NatWest 7
Royal Bank of Scotland 8
TSB 9
Lloyds Bank 10
Bank of Scotland 11
Co-operative Bank 12
Tesco Bank 13
Virgin Money 14
First Direct 15
Experian.com 16
M&S Bank 17
Yorkshire Building Society 18
Cheltenham & Gloucester 19
Clydesdale Bank 20
National Savings and Investments 21
Yorkshire Bank 22
Metro Bank 23
Citibank 24
Britannia 25
Skipton Building Society 26
118 118 Money 27
MBNA 28
HBOS 29
Coventry Building Society 30
Park Christmas Savings 31
Nutmeg 32
Vanquis 33
Monzo 34
ING Direct 35
Ocean Finance 36
Coutts 37
Lombard Direct 38
Starling Bank 39
Cahoot 40
West Bromwich Building Society 41
Smile 42
Norwich and Peterborough 43
Hitachi Personal Finance 44
Abbey 45
TotallyMoney 46
Lex Autolease 47
Zopa 48
Revolut 49
Atom 50

Generational differences: The rising fame of digital banks for younger generations

Digital banks seem to have found particular fame with younger generations. For example, for millennials, Monzo was ranked the 19th most well-known bank and Starling Bank was the 23rd most famous bank. In comparison, Monzo ranked 44th for gen X and 46th for baby boomers, while Starling Bank ranked 39th for gen X and 42nd for baby boomers.

However, the most well-known bank among millennials was still Barclays. Lloyds Bank was the most famous among gen X and Halifax was the most famous among baby boomers.

Name Rank (Millennials) Rank (Gen X) Rank (Baby boomers)
Barclays 1 4 3
Santander 2 7 10
Lloyds Bank 3 1 5
Barclaycard 4 5 7
NatWest 5 2 2
Halifax 6 3 1
HSBC UK 7 6 11
Nationwide Building Society 8 9 6
Co-operative Bank 9 11 12
Tesco Bank 10 13 14
Royal Bank of Scotland 11 12 4
Bank of Scotland 12 8 8
TSB 13 10 9
Virgin Money 14 14 13
M&S Bank 15 17 17
Experian.com 16 16 21
Metro Bank 17 27 28
First Direct 18 15 16
Monzo 19 44 46
118 118 Money 20 26 31
Yorkshire Building Society 21 18 15
Yorkshire Bank 22 20 20
Starling Bank 23 39 42
National Savings and Investments 24 24 19
Citibank 25 25 26
Britannia 26 21 24
Clydesdale Bank 27 22 22
Vanquis 28 31 35
Nutmeg 29 38 39
ING Direct 30 32 33
Park Christmas Savings 31 30 34
Ocean Finance 32 33 38
Skipton Building Society 33 28 23
Cheltenham & Gloucester 34 19 18
MBNA 35 23 27
Hitachi Personal Finance 36 41 44
Revolut 37 - -
Coventry Building Society 38 36 29
HBOS 39 29 25
Smile 40 42 45
Lombard Direct 41 37 32
TotallyMoney 42 45 49
Cahoot 43 35 37
West Bromwich Building Society 44 40 36
Coutts 45 34 30
Norwich and Peterborough 46 43 40
Lex Autolease 47 47 47
Zopa 48 46 43
Old Mutual 49 49 48
gohenry 50 - -
Abbey - 48 41
Mint - 50 50

Customer opinions of banks

Customer sentiment towards 10 of the UK’s biggest high-street and digital-only banks fell by 7 percentage points (pp) during lockdown, according to our new research with social analytics specialist BrandsEye.

This leaves overall consumer sentiment for the banking industry at -24% on a possible scale of +100% to -100% for the period between 1 March and 31 July.

However, over 800,000 social media posts from customers revealed that digital banks saw a sentiment decline of almost three times that of high-street banks during the pandemic. On average digital-only banks’ customer sentiment fell by 14 percentage points compared to just 5 percentage points for high-street banks.

While this is a blow for digital-only banks, it should be noted that high-street banks had, and continue to have, a much lower overall sentiment (-13% vs -35% currently).

To find out more about digital banking in the UK, explore the latest digital banking statistics here

Sentiment pre-lockdown Sentiment post-lockdown Percentage point difference
Atom 11.2% 9.2% 2.00%
Starling 12.4% -1.4% -13.80%
Monzo 1.6% -2.3% -3.90%
Monese 0.1% -19.3% -19.40%
Revolut -18.0% -29.3% -11.30%
HSBC -30.9% -29.9% 1.00%
Lloyds -35.9% -32.6% 3.30%
Santander -21.3% -33.1% -11.80%
Natwest -40.0% -37.0% 3.00%
Barclays -21.8% -41.5% -19.70%

Reasons high-street bank users feel negative about their bank

According to our new research, more than half (52%) the customers of high-street banks felt negatively towards their provider. For the high-street bank customers, the main reasons for feeling negative about their bank were savings rates (29%) and customer service over the phone (14%), in-branch (14%) and digitally (11%).

Most common customer complaints for high-street banks Percentage
The savings rates 29%
Customer service (phone) 14%
Customer service (in branch) 14%
Customer service (digital) 11%
The communication 11%
The overdraft 10%
The app 9%
The website 9%
The security of your money 8%
The loans 7%
Other 3%

The UK’s favourite student banks

Becoming a student means handling money independently for the first time for a lot of people. And even if you enter your degree feeling comfortable, living independently, often without the time to earn outside of your course, can see you quickly seeking financial support. For this reason, it’s worth thinking about which bank can offer you the most suitable student account.

Popular features offered by student banks

  • 0% interest overdrafts
  • Cash incentives
  • Freebies like a complimentary student railcard
With over a quarter (28%) of students choosing Santander, this is the most popular choice for student banking. With half the number of student accounts, HSBC is the second most popular option (15%). The third most popular student bank, with 11% of students, is Barclays.
Bank Percentage of students with accounts
Santander 28%
HSBC 15%
NatWest 9%
Barclays 11%
Lloyds 9%
Nationwide 9%
Halifax 6%
Other 9%
RBS 2%
TSB 2%

To learn more about how younger generations are banking, explore the latest student banking statistics here

Sources

  • Finder.com
  • Current Account Switch Service
  • Statista
  • YouGov
  • Save the Student

Methodology

  • Finder commissioned Onepoll to carry out a nationally representative survey of adults aged 18+.
  • A total of 2,000 people were questioned throughout Great Britain, with representative quotas for gender, age and region.

For all media enquiries, please contact

Matt Mckenna
UK communications manager
T: +44 20 8191 8806
matt.mckenna@finder.com@MichHutchison/in/matthewmckenna2

Related articles

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site